Tomasz Siemoniak fears that the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region is just the beginning of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s expansionist plans, with Poland needing to prepare for the worst.
The Polish minister told Sky News: “We can see that Russia is going in the direction of restoring the influence it had at the time of the Soviet Union.
“It will move on to the territories of other countries, that will either be targeted by aggression or by some other measures taken by the Russian federation, so we have to be ready.”
Amid Mr Putin’s defiance of international law by invading eastern Ukraine, Poland has embarked on an 18 per cent rise in defence spending in the last year – the biggest increase of any country in Europe.
Mr Siemoniak added that there has also been a dramatic surge in volunteer militia recruitment in Poland, sparked by the chaos in neighbouring Ukraine.
The minister has previously called on Poles between the ages of 18 and 50 to undertake voluntary military training to defend their homeland.
Local volunteer paramilitary groups have long existed in Poland but have seen a steady rise since the fall of communism and the end of the Cold War.
Another paramilitary member, Kuba, a 26-year-old paramedic, added: “We will teach everybody how to shoot, how to rescue people, how to camouflage, how to use radios, basic knowledge in the field.
“I think everybody who has a clear mind in Europe knows the war is a true possibility, especially in Poland.”
Full article: Poland civilians take up arms as Russia threat is branded country’s ‘GREATEST CRISIS’ (Express)