US military involvement developing as planned - Polish FM

Paweł Supernak/PAP

Expansion of the American military presence in Poland is progressing according to plan, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told PAP in reference to one of the topics on the agenda of the White House talks between the Polish and US presidents on Wednesday.

Defence is one of the priorities of the Polish-US partnership, and the planned meeting of Andrzej Duda should create room for additional US military involvement in Poland, Czaputowicz said.

"After Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine in 2014, the US has engaged in bolstering the defence capabilities in our region. This is manifested by the US troop deployment in Poland and neighbouring countries, under the so-called the NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence, and projects covered by the European Deterrence Initiative announced by the US in 2014," the Polish official said.

Czaputowicz believes that Duda's visit to Washington will further deepen relations. He recalled the declarations adopted by both presidents in 2018 and 2019 regarding defence cooperation and the expanded presence of US forces in Poland. Last June, Trump agreed to send 1,000 more troops to Poland.

According to the Polish foreign minister, US military involvement in Poland is developing as planned, both within NATO and bilateral cooperation.

The ongoing talks between Poland's defence ministry and its American partners should allow not only for the firming of last year's political declarations, but also create room for additional US involvement, he said, adding, however, that it is too early to speak about any new decisions.

Commenting on Trump's decision to cut the number of US troops in Germany and its effect on the NATO security strategy in the Central and Eastern Europe region, Czaputowicz said that strong transatlantic ties based on US political and military involvement are key to building Europe's security, both for Warsaw and Berlin, which was confirmed by his counterpart Heiko Maas during talks the two had in Warsaw last week.

"President Trump's decision to withdraw some US troops from Germany will be the subject of analysis within NATO. However, this will only be possible once the details of the relocation of US forces are known," Czaputowicz also said.

According to him, nuclear weapons are not on Duda-Trump meeting agenda.

"Arrangements on the directions of NATO's nuclear policy development are made among allied countries. Poland fully supports NATO and US efforts to ensure credible nuclear policy and adequate deterrence capabilities related to this," the Polish official said.