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Manoeuvres by Russian jets designed to divide NATO: Polish minister

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 19.04.2016 15:09
Controversial manoeuvres by Russian fighter jets over the Baltic Sea are a form of provocation by Russia aiming to divide NATO ahead of the military alliance’s July summit in Warsaw, Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said on Tuesday.
Antoni Macierewicz
Antoni Macierewicz Photo: Flickr.com/MEDIA WNET

Separately, Macierewicz told a Polish newspaper in an interview that Russian behavior "attests to systematic preparation for aggressive action."

After a meeting of EU defence ministers in Luxembourg, Macierewicz told reporters: "Looking at the history of first the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation’s behaviour, I would say that this is a certain Russian routine.

“When some important events are approaching, when some important decisions may be taken - particularly those that reinforce the defensive character of NATO countries, including Poland - then Russia starts acting provocatively, actions designed to divide NATO, divide public opinion…”

Macierewicz added that recent manoeuvres by Russian jets would be discussed at a NATO-Russia Council meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Macierewicz told Poland's Rzeczpospolita daily in an interview published on Tuesday that "for now, all Russian behavior attests to systematic preparation for aggressive action."

The latest air incident took place on 14 April, when according to the U.S. military, a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane was barrel-rolled by a Russian jet.

It followed the buzzing of warship the USS Donald Cook on 11 April, while the vessel was carrying out deck landing drills with a Polish helicopter.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said earlier this week that NATO must “show character” during talks with Russia on Wednesday, and should insist that international law is observed. (pk)

Source: PAP

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