Permanent US base in Poland is first of many to come in CEE says minister

Zbigniew Rau told journalists at the Nato summit that Polish authorities had taken the position that the NATO-Russia Founding Act from 1997, which had long ensured cooperation between the alliance and Moscow, had expired. Mateusz Marek/PAP

The placement of the main command of the US Army's V Corps in Poland is the first step to adding other permanent US bases in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland’s foreign minister said in Madrid, on Thursday.

Zbigniew Rau told journalists at the Nato summit that Polish authorities had taken the position that the NATO-Russia Founding Act from 1997, which had long ensured cooperation between the alliance and Moscow, had expired.

"The way of thinking which had come about as a result of this document (Founding Act – PAP) has been vanquished and is an adequate response to the development of events in the east, above all, to Russia's aggression against Ukraine," he said.

"The position of the Polish government is crystal clear, but there are voices… which say that the act should be hidden away in a drawer, or freezer, and returned to when the there is a significant change in the situation with Russia," he said. "Our stance is that this act no longer applies, and it makes no sense to archive it and give it such reverence."

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden announced that the United States would boost its military presence in Europe and create a permanent headquarters for its Army V Corps in Poland as a response to threats coming from Moscow.

“This is the beginning of the establishment of permanent bases in our part of Europe," said Rau and pointed out that the establishment of the bases was "a process", but "a breakthrough had occurred with the placement of the V Corps in Poznan (west-central Poland – PAP)."