UK and Poland strengthen security ties ‘to counter Russian aggression’

The UK is to forge stronger security links with Poland in the face of growing Russian aggression, the government has said.

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson and defence secretary Gavin Williamson will meet counterparts Jacek Czaputowicz and Mariusz Blaszczak in Warsaw on Thursday to discuss increased defence and cyber co-operation.

A project to support independent media in eastern Europe will also be set up in a bid to combat “disinformation”.

Mr Johnson said: “The UK and Poland are close friends and allies on a range of issues, including security, foreign policy, trade and culture. This meeting will help to solidify even further a relationship that is growing from strength to strength.

“Both countries take seriously the threats posed to independent media, to cyberspace and to our collective security. That’s why we will today agree to build on our co-operation in these areas, to counter together hostile threats to our two countries.”

The meeting comes after Russia waged a war of disinformation following the nerve-agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The ministers will discuss plans to increase collective defences against cyber-attacks from hostile actors and joint work on improving resilience to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear-related risks.

Britain sent 150 troops to Poland in 2016 amid increased Russian aggression.

 

“Poland and the UK face the same intensifying threats to our security, prosperity and way of life,” said Mr Williamson. “Our two countries are important European and Nato allies – both committed to playing a leading role to keep our nations and continental Europe safe.

“As we implement the UK-Poland defence treaty our historic partnership grows ever closer to meet the evolving and complex threats that we share.”

The UK is hosting the Western Balkans Summit in London on 9 and 10 July.

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