Putin is seeking to rebuild the Russian empire and he needs Ukraine for that, Antoni Macierewicz was cited as saying in an interview with The New York Observer.
According to the news website, Macierewicz said that Putin “wants Ukraine … By any means. Whatever it takes.”
Putin “has many cards to play. He wants to restore the empire. He wants possibilities in Poland and other countries. But Ukraine must be part of the empire, an integral part,” Macierewicz was cited as saying.
“Putin understands that there is no empire without Ukraine,” according to Macierewicz. “But he made a major mistake: thanks to Putin, American troops are now close to the Ukrainian border” and “many people in NATO opened their eyes.”
Asked if the Putin regime plans to start a war against NATO, Macierewicz said: “They don’t exclude it. The first move, I think, is Ukraine. But I don’t exclude a military attack in the Far East. They want to distract American attention, prolong the front of confrontation in order to create a favorable situation for aggression in Europe.”
Macierewicz also told the American online news website that the Russians were trying to discredit him by resorting to propaganda.
“I don’t like Communists and Putin’s people, and they don’t like me. It’s normal. They are afraid of me and want to ‘kill’ me using propaganda tools,” Macierewicz said.
But “that doesn’t affect anything in the defense realm,” he added.
Macierewicz also said in the interview that “now Poland will have a military that can truly defend our country against any aggression.”
No previous government in Poland "has wanted this," according to Macierewicz. “Their doctrine was to rely on others,” he said.
Macierewicz told The New York Observer that Poland was committed to spending 2.5 percent of its GDP and double the size of its military up to 200,000 soldiers.
"Only then we will be able to defend ourselves and effectively help our allies," he said.
Macierewicz and other Polish Cabinet ministers were on Wednesday summing up the first two years of the country’s conservative government led by the Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Source: IAR, observer.com