U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday on his way to the G20 Summit in Germany. Poland is among only a handful of the NATO countries that spends 2 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on its military budget. Trump has criticized NATO members that fail to meet that target.
CGTN’s Aljosa Milenkovic reports.
Tanks roaring through fields, helicopters lifting heavy military equipment, launchers firing dozens of rockets toward an imaginary enemy — All frequent sights in Poland.
A recent NATO military exercise took place at Poland’s border with Lithuania, a 60-kilometer stretch that divides Russian troops in Belarus and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
The premise of the NATO military games were that Russian troops had attacked and established a corridor between Belarus and Kaliningrad. NATO then made no effort to hide the fact that it was preparing for a possible clash with Russia, according to the exercise.
In the real world, Poland is on the forefront of escalating tensions between Russia and NATO. It supports Ukraine’s position on Russia and advocates tighter sanctions on Moscow.
It also seeks a large permanent NATO troop presence on Russia’s border.
“We believe and we try to convince our allies that only a strong and united position of the entire West is the best way to provide security in this region and a balance of power,” Stanislaw Koziej, a retired Polish Army general said. “That’s why we’ve been always opting for a bigger NATO presence in the Eastern flank.”
Although NATO military commanders do not hide the goal of their war game, the alliance’s political leadership says it is actually offering an olive branch.
“We don’t seek confrontation,” Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, said. “We don’t want a new cold war. Actually we seek dialog with Russia, but we have to send a clear message to avoid or prevent any misunderstanding and any miscalculation.”