Poland's president has appointed army Lt. Gen. Marek Tomaszycki as commander of the nation's armed forces in case of war.

Bronislaw Komorowski said Monday the appointment was a reaction to increased threats and instability in the region. He stopped short of mentioning an armed conflict in neighboring Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russia rebels.

Officially, the 57-year-old Tomaszycki is "candidate for Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces in time of war," but would automatically assume the job in case of a conflict. He is currently the Operational Commander of the Armed Forces.

Once a Moscow satellite, Poland is concerned over Russia's role in the conflict in Ukraine and is strengthening its own defenses as well as seeking security assurances from its NATO and U.S. allies.