Britain to send 350 more soldiers to Poland

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The government in November had sent 100 troops to Poland during the country’s border tensions with Belarus, reports Asian Lite News

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced that Britain will be sending 350 more troops to Poland amid tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Wallace made the announcement during his press conference with Poland Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.

The government in November had sent 100 troops to Poland during the country’s border tensions with Belarus. This comes as UK Defence Secretary and his Poland counterpart held talks on the response to the Russian troops build-up near the Ukraine border.

Taking to its official Twitter handle, the UK Defence Ministry informed about the meeting and mentioned that the two leaders had a discussion over the impact of the presence of Russian troops near the Ukraine border on European security.

During the press conference, Wallace stated that they will be sending further 350 British troops to Poland in addition to 100 Royal Engineers already in the country in the “spirit of solidarity,” Independent reported. Wallace highlighted the decision to send more troops to Poland comes in “helping each other’s challenges of resiliences” and emphasised that the bilateral deployment showcases that they can work together.

Wallace asserted the decision sends a “strong signal” that both the countries can “stand side by side.” In response to the announcement made by the UK, Poland thanked the UK Defence Secretary for the proposal.

Furthermore, Blaszczak expressed gratitude to Wallace for cooperation with the Poland armed forces on strengthening the security, “especially against the threat on the border,” as per the Independent report. The announcement of deploying more troops comes amid the Ukraine-Russia border tensions.

A plane carrying American soldiers arrived in southeastern Poland near the Ukraine border on Sunday. The development comes after US President Joe Biden ordered the deployment of 1,700 soldiers as the tensions continue to rise between Russia and Ukraine. Hundreds of infantry troops of the 82nd Airborne Division are expected to land at the Rzeszow-Jasionka airport which is situated near Poland’s border with Ukraine.

Major General Christopher Donahue, who was the last American soldier to leave after troops withdrawal in Afghanistan is the commander of the force. As per the AP report, Poland Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak praised the deployment of the US troops as the best response to Russia’s aggressive policy.

PM says sanctions will be ready

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said sanctions and other measures will be ready in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine, and his government will ask parliament for sanctions on Russian individuals and companies.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a virtual Cabinet meeting in 10 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Writing in The Times on Tuesday, Johnson said Britain is considering deploying Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters and Royal Navy warships to protect southeastern Europe.

Johnson also said Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will both travel to Moscow soon.

His comments come as officials in the United States say an attack by Russia on Ukraine could occur within days or weeks. Russia has amassed some 100,000 troops near the Ukraine border. It denies it is planning an invasion.

“British sanctions and other measures will be ready for any renewed Russian attack,” Johnson wrote.

“The government will ask parliament for new powers to sanction a wider range of Russian individuals and entities, including any company linked to the Russian state or operating in a sector of strategic importance to the Kremlin.”

Britain is also preparing to reinforce the British-led Nato battlegroup in Estonia, Johnson said.

“I welcome Germany’s statement that Nord Stream 2 would be reconsidered in the event of an incursion,” he added.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden said after meeting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would be halted if Russia invades Ukraine. Scholz said the pair had the same approach to Ukraine, to Russia and to sanctions, but did not directly confirm the Nord Stream 2 plans.

Europe’s most divisive energy project, Nord Stream 2 is designed to double the amount of gas flowing from Russia straight to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.

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