East Poland crucial for security says defence minister

Artur Reszko/PAP

Eastern Poland is key to the country’s security which is why its defences have to be especially strong, the Polish defence minister said on Tuesday, commenting on plans for a new infantry division in southeast Poland

Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine has alarmed Poland and accelerated a multi-billion euro defence spending programme which will result in the Polish Armed Forces being expanded and equipped with modern weaponry.

"We have to be strong, in fact, very strong in the eastern part of the country, because this is the main frontline of our security and independence. We know who is a threat to us and where," Mariusz Blaszczak told the i.pl website.

Referring to his announcement on Monday of plans to form a new infantry division in the southeast of the country, Blaszczak said the unit was a part of Poland's plans to build "a real land force" in the east.

"The main threat for Poland is Russia and its imperial ambitions. This is why we need more forces in the east, and this is why the new division is being formed," the defence minister said.

Blaszczak said the new unit and others in the area will be equipped with K2 tanks and K9 howitzers recently purchased from South Korea.