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Polish President Signs Law to Establish Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian Military Brigade

In two years the brigade is to field 4,500 men from three nations

May 4 (Novinite) - Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has given his formal approval ;for the creation of a joint military brigade with Lithuania and Ukraine, TASS reported.

The resolution signed by Komorowski on Monday will take effect two weeks after it is published, the Polish leader’s office has confirmed, according to the Russian news agency.

The joint unit, which will consist of 4,500 servicemen, is planned to become fully operational by 2017. The brigade’s first joint drills have been scheduled for the autumn of this year.

Talks on establishing a joint force comprising servicemen from Ukraine and EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania had been held since 2007. The three countries’ defence ministers signed the agreement to create the brigade-size force in September of last year in response to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

The EU and the US have been accusing Moscowfor providing support to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine that has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people since last year. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the charges.

The joint brigade will be formed as part of the European Union’s combat groups. It will take part in NATO, United Nations and European Union operations. The personnel and the equipment assigned by the three countries to the joint brigade will remain deployed at the places of their permanent location and will come under the brigade’s command during exercises and missions, according to TASS.

Komorowski signed the resolution just a day after he said the forthcoming Victory Day parade in Moscow on 9 May would be a "demonstration of force" and an example of an "unstable world."

"Soon, on May 9, Red Square in Moscow will again turn into an armoured square. Flexing their muscles again will be the divisions that recently attacked neighbouring Ukraine before the eyes of the world", Polish news agency PAP quoted Komorwski as saying during Sunday’s celebration of Constitution Day in Warsaw.

The Polish leader's comments drew angry response from Russian officials.

By making such a statement, Polish authorities reaffirm their commitment to hostile rhetoric toward Russia, the Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation Andrei Klishas said, according to RIA Novosti.

The head of Russia’s State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Alexei Pushkov made an ironic comment about Komorowski’s statement, saying: "If one listens to Warsaw, then one day the [Russian] bikers threaten Poland's security, another day our parade."

Last week, Poland denied entry to 10 Russian Night Wolves bikers, who are travelling from Moscow to Berlin to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet Union and its allies over Nazi Germany.

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