Russia Mulls Severing Ties With Poland As US-Supplied HIMARS Deployed Near Kaliningrad
Russia is mulling extreme diplomatic measures as its relations with Poland continue to spiral related to the Ukraine war and US military build-up in the region. Throughout the Ukraine war Poland has been among the most hawkish and outspoken anti-Russia voices within NATO.
Russia’s ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev issued fresh statements in response to Poland’s prime minister saying it would be “easy” to kick the Russian ambassador out of his country. Andreev said there “was always a possibility” that ties could be severed when asked by reporters about the renewed diplomatic spat. “Whether it becomes reality depends on the decisions of our leadership and the Polish authorities,” he said in an interview, translated in Russian media.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had the prior day told a media outlet that his country is considering a reduction in Russian diplomatic presence in Poland.
“It is very easy to have an ambassador recalled. And then the Russians will have our ambassador recalled,” he asserted to Polsat television. “In such a situation, the flow of information in both directions would be even more restrained.”
Last month, Moscow was infuriated when Polish police raided a Russian school attached to the Russian embassy in Warsaw and took it over. School staff were then given hours to pack up their things and vacate the building, according to RIA Novosti, following local authorities bursting into the grounds using a crow bar.
Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina said at the time that the state was enforcing a court ruling over the building building which says it was “illegally leased by the Russian embassy for years.” Poland’s position is that the building and school isn’t protected under diplomatic status, which Moscow disputes.
Russia’s foreign ministry blasted the “hostile actions” of Polish authorities which are a “blatant violation” of official Russian diplomatic property. “Such an impudent step by Warsaw, which goes beyond the framework of civilized interstate communication, will not remain without our harsh reaction and consequences for the Polish authorities and Poland’s interests in Russia,” the ministry stated at the time.
But the latest development could be taken as even more of a direct threat to Russia, given Warsaw has just received its first shipment of US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS),
What’s more is that Polish leaders say the launchers are to be deployed near the country’s shared border with Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave, which is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania
“This weapon will be deployed in the northeastern part of our country… its task will be to deter the aggressor,” Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak told a press briefing. “Blaszczak said that combat in Ukraine had proven the value of the HIMARS and that NATO member Poland was seeking to procure additional launchers, with a goal of acquiring some 500 units,” according to the AP.
“We are watching the developments in Ukraine, and we know that artillery has a key role in the war, in repelling the Russian invasion,” he said.
Wed, 05/17/2023 – 02:45