US sees Poland as its main ally - defence minister
The US perceives Poland as its main ally, we have joined the most important allies of the US, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has told a congress of Gazeta Polska clubs (reader groups of the right-wing Gazeta Polska daily - PAP).
Addressing, on-line due to the coronavirus epidemic, the 6th Extraordinary Meeting of Gazeta Polska Clubs, Blaszczak said that during his six visits that he has paid to the United States he met with congressmen from both the Democratic and Republican Parties and heard support for closer Polish-American ties on security and defence cooperation from both political sides. "The US perceives Poland as a main ally, we have joined the most important allies of the US," said the minister.
Blaszczak said that the agreement on enhanced defence cooperation with the United States signed by him this past August "is the foundation of Polish-American relations." He added that Polish-US military relations are firm and "guaranteed by this agreement and by declarations signed by the presidents of Poland and the US."
The minister said their main benefit "is deterrence of a potential aggressor. We all know who the aggressor is, how he acts and we know that the presence of US troops deters Russia."
The Poland – United States Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement was ratified by Polish President Andrzej Duda on November 9. The agreement provides for a further increase in the number of US troops stationed in Poland and the establishment of a new legal framework for the presence of US soldiers in Poland.
The document complements last year's declarations by the presidents of both countries to increase the number of US personnel from 4,500 by at least a further 1,000.
Thanks to the military infrastructure, which, according to the agreement, will be prepared by Poland, it will be possible, in the event of a possible threat, to immediately deploy additional forces to Poland, ensuring a total presence of up to 20,000 US soldiers.
Before the ratification, Poland and the US announced that Poland would host the forward command of the 5th US Army Corps, a unit responsible for commanding the US military on the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance.