World

Poland hosts major defense exercise with EU allies at time of armed conflict in Ukraine

  • Poland’s Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak inspects Polish and other troops during the opening ceremony of major international Anakonda-14 defense exercise at the National Defense Academy in Warsaw-Rembertow district, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The 10-day exercise of the army, navy and air force from Poland, U.S. Canada and six other countries from northern and eastern Europe is to test their readiness to jointly react to security threats at a time of armed conflict in Ukraine that also involves Russia. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Poland’s Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak inspects Polish and other troops during the opening ceremony of major international Anakonda-14 defense exercise at the National Defense Academy in Warsaw-Rembertow district, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The 10-day exercise of the army, navy and air force from Poland, U.S. Canada and six other countries from northern and eastern Europe is to test their readiness to jointly react to security threats at a time of armed conflict in Ukraine that also involves Russia. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. and European troops stand at attention during the opening ceremony of the major international Anakonda-14 defense exercise at the National Defense Academy in Warsaw-Rembertow district, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The 10-day exercise of the army, navy and air force from Poland, U.S. Canada and six other countries from northern and eastern Europe is to test their readiness to jointly react to security threats at a time of armed conflict in Ukraine, that also involves Russia. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    U.S. and European troops stand at attention during the opening ceremony of the major international Anakonda-14 defense exercise at the National Defense Academy in Warsaw-Rembertow district, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The 10-day exercise of the army, navy and air force from Poland, U.S. Canada and six other countries from northern and eastern Europe is to test their readiness to jointly react to security threats at a time of armed conflict in Ukraine, that also involves Russia. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. and European troops stand at attention during the opening ceremony of the major international Anakonda-14 defense exercise at the National Defense Academy in Warsaw-Rembertow district, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The 10-day exercise of the army, navy and airforce from Poland, U.S. Canada and six other countries from northern and eastern Europe is to test their readiness to jointly react to security threats at a time of armed conflict in Ukraine, that also involves Russia. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    U.S. and European troops stand at attention during the opening ceremony of the major international Anakonda-14 defense exercise at the National Defense Academy in Warsaw-Rembertow district, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The 10-day exercise of the army, navy and airforce from Poland, U.S. Canada and six other countries from northern and eastern Europe is to test their readiness to jointly react to security threats at a time of armed conflict in Ukraine, that also involves Russia. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

Poland's defense minister has launched a major international military exercise that is to test readiness to react to security threats at a time of armed conflict in neighboring Ukraine.

Tomasz Siemoniak said Wednesday he had originally planned that the biannual exercise would be at command level only, but due to the situation in Ukraine, which also involves Russia, he decided it should have wider participation.

The Anakonda-14 exercise involves 12,500 troops, including some 750 from the U.S., Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Hungary, as well as Lithuania and Estonia, which border Russia.

The scenario for the 10-day exercise calls for the protection of borders and will be held at four test ranges in northern Poland.