Russian fighter jets stage 'provocations’ over Baltic Sea: Polish gov’t official

A Polish deputy defence minister warned on Wednesday that Russian fighter aircraft were staging fresh „provocations” in the Baltic Sea region.

Wojciech Skurkiewicz

Wojciech SkurkiewiczPolskie Radio 24/Robert Bartosewicz

Wojciech Skurkiewicz made the observation in an interview with public broadcaster Polish Radio. 

Asked about the situation around Russia’s strategic Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, Skurkiewicz said: “There are provocations all the time. In the Baltic Sea region, time and again there are provocations from Russian fighter planes or other actions of a totally provocative nature.”

He added: “There is a war going on and we have to be prepared for such situations.”

Skurkiewicz also said that “some of the Russian forces” from Kaliningrad „have been deployed in Ukraine, but the area remains very heavily militarised,” Polish state news agency PAP reported.

NATO is monitoring the situation “very closely,” he told Polish Radio.

Russia warns Lithuania over rail transfer ban

Skurkiewicz was speaking after Russia on Monday demanded that Lithuania lift its blockade on the rail transit of some goods to Kaliningrad. The ban was slapped in connection with European Union sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. 

Moscow has warned Vilnius of “serious consequences” if the restrictions are not removed, news outlets reported.

NATO’s Article 5 'guarantees security of every member of alliance’

Asked if Lithuania could be attacked by Russia, Skurkiewicz said: “Putin, the Kremlin, Russia has acted very aggressively towards the Baltic states, Poland and NATO’s eastern flank generally in recent months or even years.”

But “Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are members of NATO, the biggest, strongest alliance in the world,” he added.

“NATO is based on the principle of collective defence, enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which absolutely guarantees the security of every member of the alliance,” Skurkiewicz told Polish Radio.    

Wednesday was day 119 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAPbbc.com 

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