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US Military Buildup in Poland Raises Tensions Along Russian Borders, Moscow Says

Sputnik News

17:37 GMT 17.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US military buildup in Poland contributes to the escalation of tensions along Russia's western borders, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday, commenting on the signing of an agreement to increase the US military presence in Poland.

On Saturday, the United States and Poland signed an agreement on expanded defence cooperation, which lays the foundations for an additional increase of US military presence on the Polish soil. It is planned to increase the total number of US troops in Poland by 1,000, in addition to 4,500 troops already stationed there.

According to Zakharova, the document provides for the development of the advanced command and staff structure and combat training centres of the US Armed Forces, the creation of conditions for the deployment of troops and transport aviation units, unmanned aerial vehicles, special operations forces, as well as elements of support and logistics.

"We again draw your attention to the fact that US military buildup in Poland does not solve the security problem, on the contrary, it only exacerbates the already difficult situation along the western borders of Russia, contributing to the escalation of tensions and increasing the risk of unintentional incidents. The allegedly insignificant and rotational nature of the reinforcements is perceived only as attempts to distort reality – the implementation of the US-Polish agreement will qualitatively strengthen the offensive potential of the US forces in Poland," Zakharova said.

This agreement did not come as a surprise to anyone – thus, the agreements reached in 2019 by US President Donald Trump and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, were formalized, she said.

"The agreed package of measures fully meets the guidelines of the latest NATO summits, which consolidated the course of 'containing' Russia, creating dividing lines and escalating tensions in Europe while refusing to work together to fulfil the task proclaimed in OSCE documents after the end of the Cold War – to form a common space of cooperation and trust on the continent," she stressed.

US military buildup in Poland is also contrary to the provisions of the NATO-Russia Founding Act, Zakharova said.

"These plans change the security environment in Europe and run counter to the provisions of the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997, which defines the overall goal of strengthening stability in the Euro-Atlantic region. It is also necessary to analyze how they correlate to the obligations enshrined in the founding act not to place additional 'significant combat forces' on an ongoing basis," Zakharova noted.

The United States once again shows its readiness, if its own interests require it, to give up not only obligations within the framework of multilateral instruments but also the opinion of most European states, she said.

"This completely discredits the statements of NATO officials that the alliance is a supplier of security and is interested in reducing tensions in Europe. And specific proposals from the Russian side on how to achieve de-escalation in the Russia-NATO contact areas remain unanswered," she said.

"We call on NATO member states to abandon their bets on confrontation with us and return to restraint in the spirit of the Russia-NATO Founding Act. It is also obvious that the need for a substantive and frank dialogue on problems in the field of European security, as well as the restoration of military contacts, is long overdue," she concluded.

© Sputnik

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