17 Jun 2019 19:03

Russia to respond to reinforced military presence in Poland "when required" - head of Federation Council's defense committee

MOSCOW. June 17 (Interfax) - Russia will, if necessary, respond promptly to the reinforcement of the U.S. military presence in Poland, according to Viktor Bondarev, head of the Federation Council Defense and Security Committee.

"Our political and top military leadership have the situation under control. Should it become necessary, Russia will not take long to respond in due fashion," Bondarev was quoted by his press service as saying.

The United States' plans to deploy a squadron of MQ-9 intelligence drones in Poland and expand its military presence in that country overall point to a continuation of the U.S. aggressive policy on Russia, he said.

"It is no secret that the U.S. has long been building NATO forces eastward, having taken control over the Baltics and Poland. A sufficient amount of combat equipment is already there. The drones are not making a big difference. They are for espionage, which is not good, but not critical either. What is always more alarming and worrying is the redeployment of offensive weapons," Bondarev said.

Nevertheless, every new step by the U.S. and its closest allies eastward should be analyzed as a whole, not individually, he said.

"Not that long ago NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO members were going to invest $260 million in building a warehouse for U.S. military hardware in Poland for weapons necessary to deploy a U.S. Ground Force tank brigade, and thus will serve towards implementation of the U.S. strategy for operative deployment of armed forces in Europe. All this is a clear attestation to the continued aggressive U.S. policy on Russia," Bondarev said.