Defence Minister: Poland ready for increased US troops

Poland is prepared to house more US soldiers on its soil, Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has said.

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz BłaszczakPhoto: AK/Polish Radio

The statement comes ahead of Polish President Andrzej Duda’s visit to Washington planned for Wednesday.

Strengthening military cooperation with the United States would be one of the issues discussed during the trip, Mariusz Błaszczak said in an interview with Polish Radio 24 on Saturday.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump confirmed earlier reports on his plans to reduce the 35,000 U.S. troops stationed in Germany, citing Berlin’s delinquency „in their payments to NATO.”

Trump plans to cut US troop numbers in Germany by more than 9,000 while increasing the US presence in Poland,  according to the politico.com website.

When asked about the announcement by Trump, Minister Błaszczak said that it was not Poland’s role to determine the location of US troops.

However, Błaszczak stressed that the country would welcome some of the soldiers currently stationed in Germany.

„We can ensure that we are ready to house those troops,” the defence minister said, emphasizing Poland’s capacity for conducting joint military training.

Last year, Polish President Andrzej Duda and his US counterpart Donald Trump signed a defence agreement in which Poland agreed to host about 1,000 US soldiers on its soil.

Andrzej Duda’s visit to Washington

Polish President Andrzej Duda is to meet Donald Trump in Washington next Wednesday, June 24, for talks amid plans for a troop shift in Europe.

Duda will be the first foreign leader to visit the White House since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, which caused all Trump’s meetings with guests from abroad to be suspended, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

(ał)

Source: IAR

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