Washington, June 13 (IANS) The White House has announced that the US would deploy 1,000 additional troops to Poland, a move that might raise security concerns from Russia.
“The US and Poland have agreed on a framework to deploy an additional 1,000 troops to Poland,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump announced earlier on Wednesday during a joint press conference with his visiting Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda that the infrastructure for the 1,000 American troops would be constructed by the Polish government, “at no cost to the US”.
Duda said that the increased US military presence in Poland is necessary to defend against Russia and solidify Poland’s ties to the West.
Poland, which joined the NATO in 1999, currently hosts around 4,500 US troops. It has been lobbying for a permanent American military base on Polish soil, even offering to pay $2 billion in costs.
Trump recognized Warsaw’s decision to purchase 32 F-35 fighter jets. A US F-35 fighter conducted a flyover of the White House right before the joint news conference began.
Trump praised Poland’s fulfilment of the commitment to spending more than 2 per cent of its GDP on defence, which his administration has repeatedly demanded for other NATO allies.
Trump also noted that he was “seriously” considering visiting Poland in September.
Washington and Warsaw have been strengthening their security and diplomatic ties. The two countries are on the same page on multiple regional issues such as Iran nuclear issue, alleged Russia’s threat as well as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.
Moscow has voiced concerns about Warsaw’s intentions, saying NATO’s expansion toward Russia’s borders would destabilize Europe.