Poland to welcome US decision to keep its troops in Germany - official

Przydacz said that the US Congress's decision was not surprising and added that the Polish government, from the very beginning, had been a critic of the decision to withdraw some US troops from Germany. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Poland will receive with joy the change of the US decision on pullout of its troops from Germany, a Polish deputy foreign minister said on Saturday.

"A greater US (military - PAP) presence in Europe enhances our sense of security; if the American side changes its decision regarding the presence in Germany, we will welcome it," Marcin Przydacz told RMF FM radio broadcaster.

Both houses of the US Congress (the Senate and the House of Representatives) agreed on Thursday a joint version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annual defence policy bill. According to Reuters, the draft expresses support for the continued presence of US forces in Germany and limits the ability of the Department of Defense to reduce the number of soldiers stationed there below 34,500 without a formal assessment of its impact.

This could block the recall plan for about 12,000 of the 36,000 American soldiers stationed in Germany, announced by the Pentagon in July.

Przydacz said that the US Congress's decision was not surprising and added that the Polish government, from the very beginning, had been a critic of the decision to withdraw some US troops from Germany.

"This is a system of interconnected vessels," he said pointing to the fact that a greater US military presence in Germany means higher security for the whole Europe.

Przydacz also said that abandoning the Germany troop pullout plan would not pose a threat to the previously agreed increase in the US military presence in Poland.

He added that there had been no plans to transfer US soldiers from Germany to Poland, although, in October, the then US defence secretary Mark Esper said that there was a viable option to transfer the US 2nd Cavalry Regiment, or a part of it, from Germany to Poland.