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UK to send 350 more troops to Polish border amid Russia tensions

LONDON — The U.K. will send a further 350 troops to Poland, as it warned Moscow it faces isolation if it invades Ukraine.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace made the announcement Monday during a visit to London by his Polish counterpart Mariusz Błaszczak.

Wallace said the additional troops will join the contingent of 100 British soldiers already in Poland. The decision is a “bilateral deployment to show that we can work together and send a strong signal that Britain and Poland stand side by side,” he said during a joint press conference with Błaszczak.

The move follows the arrival Sunday of a few dozen elite U.S. troops and equipment in southeastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, following U.S. President Joe Biden’s order to deploy 1,700 soldiers there amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Wallace said Moscow should expect sanctions, isolation and “more NATO” should Russia make the “foolish mistake of invading a sovereign country that has expressed through its own free will a desire not only of being part of NATO but also to do things its way.”

Błaszczak said Warsaw and London are ready to take further decisions bilaterally or through NATO to prevent a Russian incursion into Ukraine.

The Polish minister said his country is close to reaching a defense memorandum of understanding with Britain and Ukraine.

“Based on historical experience only decisive deterrence can stop any potential Russian aggression,” he said. “But also based on very recent experience, we do see that the policy of appeasement only encourages the potential enemy to do something.”

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