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Poland’s Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak: ‘After tens of years of peace, that peaceful period after the Cold War is now over’

A Polish Army tank takes part in the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland, Thursday, June 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Zagan (Poland) (AFP) – NATO member Poland said Thursday that the post-Cold War period of peace is “now over”, as the European Union grapples with various crises including the Ukraine conflict and terrorism.

“Because there are more and more crises erupting around Europe… It’s not only the Ukrainian and Russian crisis but also ISIS and a number of different crises in northern Africa.”

Poland’s defence minister spoke alongside NATO head Jens Stoltenberg in western Poland while attending the first full exercise of the Western defence alliance’s new rapid reaction force — part of NATO’s biggest defence reinforcement since the Cold War.

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“I think it’s a task for all of us to persuade the public that they should be ready to do more before it’s too late.”

— Defense Minister Tomasz Siemonia

“After tens of years of peace, that peaceful period after the Cold War is now over,” Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told reporters in Zagan.

“Because there are more and more crises erupting around Europe… It’s not only the Ukrainian and Russian crisis but also ISIS and a number of different crises in northern Africa,” he said, using an acronym to refer to the jihadist Islamic State group.

He added that Europe had to do more to defend itself, saying “I think it’s a task for all of us to persuade the public that they should be ready to do more before it’s too late.”

The comments come as Russia and the West are locked in their worst standoff since the collapse of the Soviet Union because of the conflict in Ukraine.

On Wednesday Stoltenberg said the alliance was “implementing the biggest reinforcement of our collective defences since the end of the Cold War”, after Russia announced that it would boost its nuclear arsenal this year….(read more)
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