Polish minister says Russia continues to pose serious threat to NATO and is preparing for aggression against alliance

A file photo of Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz.
A file photo of Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz. (TRT World and Agencies)

Poland's defense minister has said Russia continues to pose a serious threat to NATO and is systematically preparing for aggression against the alliance's forces.

"So far, all Russian behaviour attests to systematic preparation for aggressive action," Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz told local media in an interview published on Tuesday.

"And it's time to talk about it openly."

Earlier this month, two Russian warplanes flew simulated attack passes near a US guided missile destroyer which had just left the Polish port of Gdynia.

According to a US official, this was one of the most aggressive interactions between the two sides in recent memory.

Poland, a former Soviet satellite state, fears Russia is seeking to extend its influence beyond its borders after Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in 2014 and continues to support armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Warsaw will host a NATO heads of state summit in July, where it will push for an increased military presence on the alliance's eastern flank.

In 2014, NATO suspended cooperation with Russia over its role the conflict in Ukraine. Russia says deployment of significant NATO forces close to its borders would violate the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies