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Poland Attributes Purchase Of U.S. Missiles To Regional Tensions

Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has said that long-range missiles Warsaw is buying from the United States are especially needed by Poland because of current tensions in the region.

Siemoniak also complained of "unprecedented" recent activity by Russia's navy and air force in the Baltic Sea region -- saying the majority of the incidents involved Russian operations in international waters.

Siemoniak, speaking December 11 at a signing ceremony for the $250 million deal, said the new U.S. missiles are the most modern military equipment Poland has ever purchased.

The purchase includes 40 joint air-to-surface missiles that are to be integrated into the Polish Air Force's three tactical squadrons of F-16 fighter jets.

The U.S. State Department approved the deal in October. Delivery is to start next year with the missile systems being operational in 2017.

Based on reporting by AP and

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