NATO to increase its military commitment in Poland – Polish PM
April 7, 2014
Poland's PM Donald Tusk
NATO will increase its military presence in Poland within the next few weeks in order to calm fears in Eastern European countries for their security following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Saturday.
Speaking three days after NATO foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss reinforcing the alliance’s defenses among its eastern European members Tusk said the stronger "military presence" would be "visible" in the coming days and weeks.
"The discussion is not about if, but rather about the scale, pace and some technical aspects of strengthening Poland's security," he told the Polish broadcaster TVN.
Last week Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said that Poland would be "fully satisfied" if NATO stationed two heavy brigades in Poland. However, NATO's secretary-general had earlier said the alliance would use rotating reinforcements, rather than permanently stationing additional troops in Poland.
The measures could include sending soldiers and equipment to eastern European allies for short-term reinforcements and exercises, as well as ensuring NATO's rapid-reaction force could deploy more quickly, NATO said.
Last month, responding to a request from Warsaw, the United States decided to increase the scale of its military exercises in Poland, sending to the country 12 U.S. F-16 fighter jets and 300 personnel.