- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A senior Polish general is warning NATO members that Russia will wage “hybrid war” through propaganda and “information aggression” to achieve its geopolitical goals in the region.

Gen. Stanisław Koziej, who heads the president’s National Security Bureau, said Tuesday that while many members of NATO are cutting defense budgets, Russia is increasing its defense spending — and aggression — in ways that “must be stopped.”

“There is a negative image of Poland being created in Russian society,” Gen. Koziej told Newsweek. “An example of such pressure was the recent declaration of moving Iskander rockets to Kaliningrad region, that is to the Polish borders. A few days ago, a Russian document on annexation of Crimea stated that Poland backed up Maidan revolution by training Ukrainian fighters, which naturally is not true, but has built a certain image of Poland in Russian society.”

The general added that Russian President Vladimir Putin is smart enough not to do anything that would prompt NATO to come to the defense of its members, but would instead rely on the tactics which led up to the annexation of Crimea.

“In case of an open, regular aggression on our territory, I am positive that the defense would be made by NATO within article 5 of the Washington Treaty. We cannot be that certain in case of threats under the threshold of war — hidden aggression, diversion, which cannot be disregarded since Russian annexation of Crimea. […] I can say that espionage as a hybrid war element is a serious threat nowadays,” Gen. Koziej said, Newsweek reported.

Russia had repeatedly denied that Moscow is giving military support to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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