Russia has slammed a military deal between Poland and the United States to provide Warsaw with the advanced Patriot anti-missile system, saying it poses a serious threat to Russia’s borders.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday that Moscow saw Poland’s announcement about an agreement with Washington to buy the Patriot as an “element of destabilization of the military and political situation in Europe and a threat to Russia's national security.”
Zakharova, however, reiterated that Russia possessed the required means to protect its borders in case of any threat from Poland. Russia’s “defense resources are sufficient to ensure the impregnability of our borders and the protection of our territory,” she said.
Poland signed a $4.75-billion deal with the US on Wednesday, agreeing to buy the US-made Patriot missile system to overhaul its army in response to what it calls Moscow’s military and political advance in the region.
The Patriot is a mobile missile system designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, low-flying cruise missiles and aircraft.
Zakharova further slammed Poland’s speedy move toward militarization.
“We are concerned at the progressive militarization of this country,” she said, adding that “the signing of a contract to supply the American Patriot system served as recent confirmation for this.”
The Russian official said that Warsaw was evidently seeking a more modern military by increasing spending and recruiting more and more troops.
“Warsaw is increasing its spending on defense and making serious efforts to achieve military and technical modernization of its national armed forces. It is reforming the system of managing troops and increasing troop numbers,” said Zakharova.
Russia has complained about the prospect of the deployment of any Patriot missile systems in the east of Europe, arguing it goes against the 1987 INF Treaty banning the deployment of such systems on the ground.
The INF Treaty was signed between the US and the former Soviet Union on December 8, 1987. The accord covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles and intermediate-range missiles. The former Soviet Union eliminated 1,846 such missiles, while the US destroyed 846 under the treaty.