A Russian lawmaker and close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested during a recent TV appearance that Moscow could target Poland next amid its ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

A Russian lawmaker and close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested during a recent TV appearance that Moscow could target Poland next amid its ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

First beginning on Putin’s order in February 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is nearing its second anniversary as the fighting continues, with seemingly no end in sight. While the Ukrainian “special military operation” has reportedly not gone to plan, Russian officials have nevertheless continued to hint at similar invasions in the near future, usually suggesting former Soviet Union territories as likely targets, such as Moldova or the Balkan States.

The latest potential future target hinted at by a Russian official is Poland, which was never officially a Soviet territory, but did exist alongside it in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

On Friday, Julia Davis, founder of the Russian Media Monitor watchdog group, shared a clip to X, formerly Twitter, from Russian state-run TV in which Aleksey Zhuravlyov made the suggestion about Poland. Zhuravlyov is a Russian lawmaker and member of the State Duma known for his nationalistic and militaristic tendencies.

“Another question is to you, guys in the West, what are you going to do about it?” Zhuravlyov asked. “They understand very well that Ukraine is finished. So what’s next? Sweden is getting ready and so are the Balkans. The Poles have quieted down a bit, they probably started to realize that they are next. Of course, we have no illusions, but we understand that all of them are getting ready for the next stage of war.”

Newsweek reached out to Polish officials and foreign defense experts via email for comment.

One major factor unremarked upon by Zhuravlyov is that Poland, unlike Ukraine, is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), having officially joined in 1999. As part of the intergovernmental alliance, an attack on Poland would see NATO’s other members join the fray as well, as the group’s Article 5 states that aggression towards one member is to be considered an attack against all. Some of the group’s other 31 member nations include the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

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Late last month, Poland mobilized troops after an “unidentified aerial object” crossed over its border from the direction of Ukraine. This incident came during what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described as a “massive” round of missile and drone strikes carried out by Russia. A Polish defense ministry spokesperson told Newsweek at the time that a “search for the object is currently underway,” and added that the Polish Operational Command is “in constant contact with the Ukrainian side.”

NATO officials have repeatedly warned of the danger posed by errant Russian and Ukrainian munitions amid the ongoing war. In November 2022, a stray Ukrainian air defense missile detonated in the southern Polish village of Przewodow.

In April 2023, Polish news agencies reported that a Russian KH-55 missile—a nuclear-capable cruise missile widely used in Moscow’s bombardments of Ukraine—was found in a forest close to the northern Polish city of Bydgoszcz.

India wants to boost its oil purchases from Saudi Arabia in a move that might hurt the wartime economy of Russia, which has been selling discounted energy products to New Delhi.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 spurred the West to impose sanctions aimed at isolating Moscow from the global financial system and cut off its revenues to wage its military aggression.

In turn, Moscow named “friendly” and “unfriendly” countries, offering the former discounts in its exports such as oil. India has been a prime beneficiary of the policy as co-operation with Russia increased, and it became the second-largest buyer of its discounted oil, behind China.

However, this reliance on Russia for cheap energy might change after sources at Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corp said they each want an additional 1 million barrels of oil from state-owned Saudi Aramco next month, Reuters reported. Newsweek contacted Saudi Aramco on Saturday by email for comment.

It follows the kingdom slashing the official selling price (OSP) of its key export grade for February to the lowest in 27 months. “It is no secret India has placed its national interest over international sanctions against Moscow,” James Hill, CEO of MCF Energy, told Newsweek. “India’s focus is to deliver energy to the public at the lowest prices possible.”

Indian purchases of Russian crude have fallen to an 11-month low as the price tag on the discounted oil rises and China increases its demand for oil. Hill said this reduction in Indian imports is mostly due to the increase in the price of Russian crude, as well as Saudi Arabia’s price cuts.

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Sources at the Indian refineries told Reuters that the country is looking to Saudi oil partly because of problems with payments for Russian light sweet crude Sokol.

Indian state refiners pay for Russian oil in United Arab Emirates (UAE) dirhams, but IOC’s payments for Sokol oil face problems because Sakhalin-1 LLC has been unable to open an account with a bank in the UAE.

Other issues beset oil trade with Russia. Washington has sanctioned ships and vessel operators for the sale of Russian oil at above the $60-per barrel cap set by the G7, although Moscow has enacted sanctions-busting “ghost” ships.

Almost 5 million barrels of Russia’s Sokol grade crude have not reached India, with one shipment stalled for more than a month.

Also, billions of dollars in Russian oil revenues are stuck in Indian banks and cannot be transferred or converted because of Reserve Bank of India restrictions, thwarting Putin’s strategy to bypass the U.S. dollar in international trade.

“Saudi’s OSP cuts will definitely make Saudi crude more attractive now, but it ultimately depends on how they compare against other rival grades,” said Serena Huang, head of APAC Analysis for Vortexa, which gives energy-market analysis.

“India’s imports of Russian Sokol crude have recently been stymied by sanctions and payment issues, but Russian Urals remain viable,” Huang told Newsweek.

Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said this month that Russian oil imports had declined due to unattractive pricing and not because of payment problems.

“Although Urals’ discounts to Brent have narrowed over the course of last year, as long as they remain more attractively priced than the Middle Eastern grade, we could still expect healthy demand from the Indian refiners,” Huang said.