Poland to boost up military presence along Russian border

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EU and NATO member Poland said Wednesday it would boost its military presence and defense fortifications along its borders with Russia and Belarus.

Warsaw announced in May it would invest more than two billion euros in fortifying its northern border with Russia’s enclave of Kaliningrad and its eastern border with Belarus.

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“Everyone is aware of how dangerous the situation is, I’m thinking of the Ukraine war and what the Russian Federation is doing,” Poland’s Deputy Minister of Defense Cezary Tomczyk told the press.

He also evoked “constant provocations” along the border with Belarus.

Nearly 6,000 Polish troops guard the borders with Belarus and Russia, but the government plans to increase that number “up to 17,000 -- 8,000 on site and 9,000 in the reserve,” said General Wieslaw Kukula, chief of staff of the Polish military.

He said the “rapid border reaction force” would be deployment-ready “within 48 hours” to support border guards and prevent potential “surprises” from Moscow and Minsk.

The troops would also contribute to new defense infrastructure built as part of Poland’s “East Shield” plan to beef up border security.

Tomczyk said the program’s goals would be hit by 2028, four years earlier than the previously announced deadline of 2032.

Poland has initiated talks with the European Investment Bank to secure funding, he said.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Poland has offered Kyiv unwavering support.

Moscow’s offensive impelled Warsaw to quickly modernize its army and allocate four percent of its GDP to defense, the highest ratio of any NATO member.

The central European country has purchased billions of euros worth of military equipment, mainly from the United States and South Korea.

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