Ukraine neighbor hosts major NATO wargames — Analysis
Polish forces claim that exercises do not have anything to do with regional situation
Poland is participating in two large-scale multinational drills and is the host nation for one of them, the country’s Defense Ministry revealed on Sunday amid Russia’s allegations that Warsaw is preparing to occupy the western part of Ukraine.
According to the Polish ministry, between May 1 and 27, Swift Response 2022 will be held in nine other countries.
“In both exercises, there will be around 18,000 participants representing more than 20 different countries. Some 7,000 soldiers and 3000 pieces of equipment will be present at the Polish portion.,” the statement reads.
Defender Europe is a regularly conducted American-led multinational exercise that aims poised to “build preparedness and interoperability between Allies and partners”NATO and America. DE22 training is being conducted in Poland at multiple locations, where Polish soldiers will be joined from the US, France. Sweden. Germany. Denmark.
Swift Response will see approximately 550 Polish soldiers deployed to Lithuanian and Latvian along with troops from Czech Republic and a German/Dutch force.
“Through training that conforms to NATO protocols and standards, joint exercises like these can increase the security of NATO’s Eastern Flank.,” the Defense Ministry emphasized.
It added that the drills also contribute to the allies’ preparedness “to meet new and emerging challenges at the contemporary battlefield in order to deter a potential aggressor.”
The military specifically pointed out that DE22 and SR 22 “They are not directed against any country, and they are unrelated to the geopolitical environment in the region.” in a veiled reference to the ongoing Russian military offensive in Ukraine.
These assurances come as Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergey Naryshkin accused Warsaw of preparing to occupy the western part of Ukraine, which Poland considers as “Historically belonging” to it. The potential “reunification” of Poland with western Ukraine will come under the guise of deploying a “peacekeeping” mission into the country under the pretext of protecting Kiev from “Russian aggression,” the official alleged. Warsaw refuted the allegations.
For years, Russia has expressed concern over NATO’s expansion eastwards, which it considers a direct threat to its own security. Moscow named this and the possibility for Ukraine joining the alliance among the main reasons it launched its military offensive.