Poland no longer second category NATO member - MoD

Bartłomiej Zborowski/PAP

Poland is ceasing to be a second category member of the North Atlantic Alliance, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Monday commenting on Reuters agency report that some of 9,500 US soldiers to be pulled out from Germany will be transferred to Poland.

Increasing the number of US troops in Poland is good for the security of Poland and the entire eastern flank of NATO, he told Radio Gdansk public broadcaster.

"We are all well aware of where aggression can come from, so we do everything to make the Polish army stronger and to deter any aggressor," Blaszczak said.

He pointed to a declaration signed in September 2019 by the Polish and US presidents, under which an additional thousand US troops are to be deployed to Poland. "However, whether the soldiers will come from Europe, Asia or the United States, will be decided by the US authorities," he said.

German weekly Der Spiegel wrote on its website on Friday that US President Donald Trump plans to remove between 5,000 and 15,000 US troops from Germany by autumn of 2020. Earlier, Reuters news agency and the Wall Street Journal international daily reported that Trump had ordered the military to withdraw 9,500 troops from Germany by September. According to Reuters, citing US government sources, some of the US soldiers would be moved to Poland.