Poland Seeks Permanent U.S. Troop Presence To Counter Russia
May 28, 2018
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on May 28 that he has had talks with U.S. officials about permanently stationing U.S. troops in Poland as a deterrent against Russian aggression.
Blaszczak said he had the talks recently in Washington that were prompted by security concerns following Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support for pro-Russia separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine.
"The result of our efforts is that the U.S. Senate has contacted the Pentagon about an assessment of...[the] permanent presence of U.S. troops in Poland," Blaszczak said on state Radio 1. "Such presence is of great importance because it deters the adversary."
A report by the Onet.pl news portal says Warsaw is offering up to $2 billion to help build the infrastructure for a permanent U.S. base in Poland.
Poland currently hosts a contingent of U.S. troops on a rotational, temporary, but open-ended mission.
In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that an increase in NATO's military presence near Russia's borders "certainly does not contribute to security and stability on the continent in any way."
"These expansionist steps, certainly, result in counteractions of the Russian side to balance the parity which is violated every time this way," Peskov told Russia's state-run TASS news agency on May 28.
Based on reporting by AP, BBC, Onet.pl, and TASS
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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