US forces will remain in Poland regardless of presidency - MoD

Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

US forces will remain in Poland regardless of who is US president, as guaranteed by Poland's Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement with the US, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Thursday on Polish Radio.

Politically sealed on July 30, the agreement is to be signed on August 15 during a forthcoming visit to Poland by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. August 15 also marks Polish Armed Forces Day. Foreseen under the agreement among others is the location in Poland of the forward command of the 5th US Army Corps.

Blaszczak said the agreement ensures the stationing of US forces in Poland regardless of who is US president. He added that the current US contingent in Poland may be enlarged, but said that decisions in the matter lay with the US president. In this context, he reminded about last year's declarations by the US and Polish presidents to enlarge the 4.5 thousand-strong force by a thousand men.

Blaszczak said that the US were the leader of the NATO alliance, and that Polish-US ties were the key security mainstay for Poland and the entire eastern NATO flank. He added that the location in Poland of the 5th US Army Corps forward command was "a huge success" and confirmed Poland's "very good relations with the United States."

The Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement foresees the further expansion of military cooperation between the US and Poland and the enlargement of the current US force on Poland's territory.