Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak, referring to the information about shots fired at the Polish-Belarusian border in the direction of Polish officers, stated that provocations are and will probably take place. – In the event of a hybrid attack, I expect the opposition to support the state institutions – he stressed.
On Friday, a spokeswoman for the Border Guard, Sec. Anna Michalska informed that the patrol of the Belarusian services surrendered on Thursday shots at soldiers of the Polish Armywho, together with the Border Guard, patrol the border. As she noted, the shots were probably fired with blank ammunition. Nothing happened to anyone.
– These incidents are taking place. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a provocative attitude towards Polish soldiers and Border Guard officers. But I would like to thank them for their attitude, for their morale and their resistance, despite the attacks of the opposition in our country, said the head of the Ministry of National Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he spent the last day of his three-day visit to the USA.
The minister described the attacks of the opposition as “shameful” and called them “spectacles of hate”. He added that “he expects, above all, support from the opposition for the institutions of the Polish state.”
Mariusz Błaszczak about the meeting at the Pentagon and the purchase of Abrams tanks
Commenting on the three-day visit to the USA, which ended on Friday, Błaszczak emphasized that Poland continued to tighten defense cooperation also with the new administration, while the USA under President Biden appreciated Poland’s involvement on NATO’s eastern flank. – Russian threats are noticed by the United States and the present administration, and our involvement on NATO’s eastern flank is appreciated. I can say that after the last conversation with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin – said Mariusz Błaszczak, when asked if, given the US focus on the threat from China, European affairs have a lower priority.
Błaszczak added that Poland and the USA have been consistently tightening cooperation and defense ties from several administrations. – We are following this path step by step, we are strengthening cooperation, all that we have done and all that is still ahead of us is good for Poland’s security – he said. The minister also commented on the talks about the purchase by Poland of 250 American M1A2 Abrams tanks, which he described as the best in the world, which are about to end. “The Abrams will increase the defense capabilities of the Polish army,” he stressed.
– We consistently implement a policy that boils down to the sentence “si vis pacem, para bellum”, “you want peace, get ready for war”. We want peace, therefore we are increasing the size of the Polish army, therefore we equip them with the most modern equipment to deter and discourage the aggressor – said the head of the Ministry of National Defense.
Mariusz Błaszczak talks about relations with the USA. A visit to the American Częstochowa
Assessing the state of relations between the US and Poland, Błaszczak said that they were good. – If there were no political relations, there would be no talks on security. Security in general should be above political disputes – said the minister. He regretted that this was not the case in Poland in the face of the crisis on the eastern border.
During his visit to the USA, the head of the Ministry of National Defense met with the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, Senator Tammy Duckworth from the Democratic Party, and also visited the Abrams tank factory in Ohio and met with Polish soldiers. On Friday, he was at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, called the American Częstochowa. There, the minister unveiled a commemorative plaque funded by the Ministry of National Defense, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw.
Main photo source: Ministry of National Defense / Twitter