No permanent NATO bases in Poland?

No permanent NATO bases in Poland?

The Polish defence minister has cast doubt that NATO will opt for a permanent military base in Poland at the alliance’s summit in Wales in September.

“I do not think summit documents use the term „permanent military presence,” Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has told the Rzeczpospolita daily, after months of lobbying by Poland for a NATO base following war in eastern Ukraine.

In April, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said he would be happy with “two heavy brigades” of NATO troops on Polish soil.
Many NATO members, however, fear that a permanent NATO base in Poland could provoke Russia.

“Some allies see the word “permanent” as a liability,” Defence Minister Siemoniak says.

“It’s better that troops come to us and train with our troops, rather than sitting around in barracks,” he added.

The US announced last week that 600 soldiers from the Fort Hood, Texas-based 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, will be going to Poland as the next unit to participate in training exercises, which began in April this year.

UK and Canadian troops will also be taking part in the training exercises in Poland and Baltic states.

It appears that Poland is lowering its ambitions from permanent military bases with troops to logistical centres.

“We hope that a decision will be taken on the creation of a logistics centre for equipment and other provisions for Alliance members stationed in Poland as well as the Baltic States,” head of Poland’s National Security Bureau, General Stanislaw Koziej told Polish Radio
at the weekend.

The NATO summit will be held in Newport, Wales, on 4 and 5 September. (pg)

fot. Józef Jakubco/EPA


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