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One NATO Battalion Enough to 'Deter Russian Aggression,' Poland Says

A single NATO battalion inside Poland would be enough to deter Russian aggression, Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said in an interview Wednesday.

Although NATO units in the Baltics would not be able to defeat Russia in case of invasion, they could slow down the attack while waiting for reinforcements, Macierewicz told the Defence News website.

His words come after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that Romania and Poland would be in Russia's crosshairs for hosting elements of a US missile defense system, Reuters reported.

NATO is currently seeking to station four new battalions in Eastern Europe: one each in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. In May, the organization activated a missile defence base in Romania, with another currently being constructed in Poland.

NATO started to perceive Russia as a growing threat following Moscow's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and continued action in the east of Ukraine. Several European members of the organization are increasing defense spending this year to combat “Russian aggression,” with the biggest defence budget growth being seen in the Baltic states.

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