: Poland says NATO must speak to Russia from position of strength

16:44 Apr. 14, 2016

Poland says NATO must speak to Russia from position of strength

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, right, welcomes Polish President Andrzej Duda upon his arrival at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Jan. 18, 2016. (AP Photo)

Polish deputy defense minister made the comments before Russian warplanes simulated attack passes near a U.S. guided missile destroyer

NATO should return to Cold War ways of thinking in its relations with Russia, and speak to Moscow from a position of strength to counter its renewed assertiveness in eastern Europe, Polish deputy defense minister said, according to Reuters.

"Russia's sees its relations with the West in Cold War terms, so to ensure the efficiency of deterrence we must link it to the way of thinking of the one we want to deter," Tomasz Szatkowski told Reuters.

Read also Polish Defence Minister wants NATO to strengthen its eastern border

"Right now, we must speak to Russia from a position of strength, although obviously without excessive muscle-flexing," he added.

Szatkowski's comments came before two Russian warplanes' simulated attack passes near a U.S. guided missile destroyer in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, an incident one U.S. official described as one of the most aggressive interactions in recent memory.

Read also Russian ambassador summoned in Poland

A former Soviet satellite, Poland has been alarmed by Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014 and its support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine, and remains one of Moscow's staunchest critics.

Reporting by Reuters

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