Russian lawmakers have said the new US-Poland joint declaration unveiled yesterday, which will see 1,000 more US troops sent to Poland from Germany along with military drones, will force the Kremlin to take “retaliatory steps” against what the Russian parliamentary statement called US “further large-scale deployments”.
One lawmaker went so far as to say the Russian military “would make Poland a target in the event of a conflict,” according to Reuters.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister also warned of Washington’s “aggressive intentions” following Trump’s pledge to Polish President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday during a White House visit.
One Russian official, identified as the deputy head of the upper house of parliament’s international affairs committee, told the Interfax news agency: “In the event of any conflict, God forbid, the territory of Poland would become a clear target for a retaliatory strike, if there was suddenly an attack on us,” as cited in Reuters, while others warned of a new Cuban missile crisis scenario but this time on Russia’s border.
Per the Reuters report, one top parliamentary official went so far as to invoke a nuclear scenario:
Another lawmaker, ex-commander of Russia’s special forces Vladimir Shamanov, who now runs the lower house of parliament’s defense committee, said he was concerned about the U.S. drones because of their potential to carry nuclear weapons.
“The world is gradually slipping toward a dangerous moment comparable to the Caribbean crisis,” Shamanov said, using the Russian expression for the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis – a standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
“…We will be forced to take retaliatory measures and we have them in our armory,” Interfax cited him as saying.
Meanwhile Russian military statements indicate the Kremlin is watching this new US deployment in Poland closely, to “ensure” no actions could threaten Russian security.
Though parliament has no foreign policy decision-making authority, the explosive public reactions certainly serve as a broad reflection of the defense establishment’s growing anger and willingness to lash out while helplessly watching continued US military commitment and build-up in Eastern Europe, recently including nations like Romania as well.
Trump’s comments to the press while hosting President Duda on Wednesday suggested a continued growing US commitment right on Russia’s doorstep. He said, “They get hurt, unfortunately, too often, right? Too often,” while speaking of Poland. “They are in the middle of everything. When bad things happen, it seems Poland is the first one that is in there and it is unfortunate.”