Senate endorses ratification bill on Polish-US military cooperation

Poland's Senate, upper house, on Wednesday night voted for a law empowering the president to ratify a Polish-American military cooperation agreement, which foresees an increase in the number of US soldiers stationed in Poland.

The ratification bill was passed with 91 votes in favour and 3 abstentions.

The Sejm, lower house, adopted the act on September 17.

An international deal strengthening defence cooperation was signed in Warsaw on August 15 by Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The contract is complementary to a declaration last year by the presidents of the two countries, which heralded an increase in US troop numbers in Poland from 4,500 by at least 1,000 more.

The accord, which supplements the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) of 1951 sets out in more detail the status and conditions governing the stay of US forces, including military and civilian personnel and their family members. The annexes to the agreement regulate the infrastructure and logistical support provided by Poland.

The new deal will replace the 2009 agreement on the status of the US military on the territory of the Republic of Poland and the intergovernmental cooperation agreement of July 2015.