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Polish Official Urges NATO To Speak To Moscow 'From Position Of Strength'

Poland's deputy defense minister has urged NATO to speak to Moscow from a position of strength to counter its renewed assertiveness in Eastern Europe.

Tomasz Szatkowski made the remark in an interview with the Reuters news agency on April 14.

Poland, alarmed by Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its backing of armed separatists in eastern Ukraine, has been one of Moscow's staunchest critics.

"Russia's sees its relations with the West in Cold War terms, so to ensure the efficiency of deterrence we must link it to the way of thinking of the one we want to deter," Tomasz Szatkowski told Reuters.

"Right now, we must speak to Russia from a position of strength, although obviously without excessive muscle-flexing."

In July, Warsaw will host NATO heads of state at a summit, where it will push for an increased military presence on the alliance's eastern flank.

Russia says deployment of significant NATO forces close to its borders would violate the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.

Based on reporting by Reuters