Warsaw urged NATO to speak with Russia from a position of strength

Flags of Poland, the EU and NATO at the presidential Palace in Warsaw

A senior Polish official said that NATO must talk with Moscow from a position of strength. “Right now we should speak with Russia from a position of strength, though, obviously, and without unnecessary muscle-flexing,” said Reuters, Deputy Minister of defence of Poland Tomasz Shatkovsky.

The official accused Moscow of returning to cold war thinking. “Russia views its relations with the West from the point of view of the cold war, so in order to ensure effective deterrence, we must link it with the way of thinking of someone we want to keep,” Shatkovsky said.

Reuters notes that talked to the officer before the incident with the Russian aircraft on Monday, according to the Agency, imitated the sunset on the attack next to the American destroyer “Donald cook”. The representative of the American authorities described the incident as one of the most aggressive in recent times.

The U.S. Navy has published a video of the flight. Commander of naval forces of the USA in Europe and Africa Admiral mark Ferguson called the maneuvers Russian pilots in the vicinity of the ship “unprofessional and dangerous”.

Official representative of Russian defense Ministry major General Igor Konashenkov, commenting on the incident, said that the American destroyer was in 70 km from the Russian naval base on the Baltic sea, and airplanes in that day performed training flights over neutral waters. “Finding the vehicle in the area of visual sight, the Russian pilots made a top from it with observance of all security measures”, — he said.

The USS Donald cook on April 11 came from the Polish port of Gdynia, with Polish helicopter on Board. One of the close flights of Russian su-24 fell on the time when the helicopter was preparing to take off, and flight had to be postponed. On Thursday, the Russian Ambassador in Warsaw Sergey Andreev was summoned to the Polish foreign Ministry in connection with the incident, and Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Warsaw and Washington will come up with an answer.

In July in Warsaw will host a NATO summit, where, as recalled by Reuters, Poland will advocate for a stronger military presence on the Eastern flank of the Alliance. In February NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance members have agreed to increase its forces in Eastern Europe. Expect to have several battalions of rapid reaction in Poland, Romania, the Baltic States and Bulgaria.

In January, Polish defense Minister Anthony Macierewicz said that Warsaw intends to raise at the summit the establishment of a permanent NATO bases in Poland. According to him, in July will be “the decision whether Poland is an equal member of NATO”, or “we are seen as the state second class”.

The Russian foreign Ministry earlier said that the intentions to increase the number of NATO troops at the Western borders of the country attempt to undermine “the provisions of the Founding act Russia — NATO from 1997, according to which the Alliance pledged not to place substantial military forces in the territory of the mentioned countries on a regular basis.” NATO officials claim that troops will be deployed on a rotational basis, which is not a violation of this agreement.