Russian gas company Gazprom announced in late April it had halted gas supplies to Poland and to Bulgaria after both countries refused to pay in rubles as Moscow had demanded.
Bob Maginnis, a national security expert at the Family Research Council, tells AFN that Poland is a capable NATO member that signed a defense agreement in 2020 establishing a U.S. Army headquarters near the city of Poznan.
Poland also shares a 144-mile border with Russia, which would become the bloody front lines of a Russia-NATO war.
“They're buying U.S. equipment left and right to include main battle tanks and helicopters. They have already said yes to the headquarters for the U.S. Army's 5th Corps,” Maginnis advises. “So there are a host of reasons why the Poles are considered an enemy by Putin.”
Bulgaria, a NATO member since 2004, was targeted by Putin because it represents a strategic location with port cities on the Black Sea.
“It’s right north of Greece and to the east of the Balkan countries,” Maginnis says. “So it's a significant part of NATO. It has a capability that is attractive to Putin."
The neighboring country of Moldova, a poor country of four million, recently said it is concerned Russia will invade and take control of its land and borders, AFN recently reported. That invasion would give Russia a battle front in western Ukraine but put NATO member Romania to its western flank.