Komorowski: Poland wants permanent NATO presence on its soil

Poland hopes permanent NATO military presence on its soil as Russia vows to increase its military presence following Ukraine crisis in Eastern Europe

Photo by: NATO
Photo by: NATO

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The outgoing Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said during a press conference with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Warsaw on Thursday that his country was hoping more NATO deployment in the wake of increasing Russian military presence towards Eastern Europe.

Komorowski said they would like to see a permanent NATO presence in the Polish territory in order to dissuade Moscow from its “offensive” on their borders.

"Poland hopes that with joint efforts we can replace the rotation-based presence of allied forces on our territory… with permanent deployment," Komorowski said in the press conference.

Stoltenberg visited Warsaw on Thursday to discuss general conditions of the proposed NATO deployment in Poland which has already been hosting a remarkable amount of NATO military assistance in the US bases.

Stoltenberg met with the newly-elected Polish President Andrzej Duda and Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak as well as Komorowski who lost the presidential election last month against Duda.

Komorowski stated that the NATO’s military existence was keenly needed after Russia annexed Crimea and allegedly muddled eastern Ukraine.

He expressed his hopes that Poland would signify the "strengthening of the eastern flank of the alliance, ties between the allies and solidarity."

Russia’s relations with the West nearly underwent into the level of Cold War as Moscow seceded Crimea and the events took place in eastern Ukraine in the past 13 months.

NATO’s recent decision to militarise Eastern Europe has been perceived as “disturbing” actions by Moscow as the Kremlin press office announced on Wednesday.

The Kremlin office said the alleged NATO actions towards Eastern Europe had disturbed Russia as Washington and its European allies have been attempting to change balance of power against Moscow in the region.

The Pentagon was reportedly said last week to store heavy military equipment in a significant move to deter “Russian aggression” towards Eastern Europe where the regional governments have long been worrying over whether the Kremlin will target themselves in the wake of Ukraine conflicts.

Moscow  vehemently reacted to Washington’s drive to deploy NATO member states on the edge of its border and said on Monday that the proposed US move would be the most dangerous act since the Cold War to which it could immediately retaliate by beefing up its own forces.

The Kremlin stated that Moscow has been seeking the ways for protecting its security and interests in the coterminous Eastern Europe where constituent states of the former Soviet Union now became members in the Euro-Atlantic alliance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia was very concerned with the US-led NATO acts of getting prepared to deploy anti-missile defence systems near its borders and said they would add more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to their nuclear arsenal this year.

However, the NATO also blamed Russia for fueling destabilisation in Eastern Europe through nuclear warfare as the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg defined Moscow’s attitudes towards the region as being “sabre-rattling.”

Poland and the Baltic states, where peoples and politicians have been frustrated by the Russian military presence in Ukraine, welcomed the US decision to take a military lead against Russia.

Polish Defence Minister Siemoniak said on Monday after speaking with the US Navy Admiral Ray Mabus in Warsaw that he was expecting the US plan to reassure Euro-Atlantic allies in the region to be vitalised within a few weeks.

"They know how important this is to us, because we want to build a permanent US presence, the allied army here on the Polish territory," Siemoniak told reporters.

"It seems to me that such enterprises, that is equipment warehouses, are a very crucial step when it comes to building such a presence," he added.

But the countries in Central and Southeastern Europe like Hungary and Bulgaria still seem ambivalent since they have historical and cultural links with Moscow and declared that they may not want to jeopardise such ties by stationing the US military equipment on their territories.

Both countries are the members of the NATO and maintain a balanced approach towards Russia wheres they also commit their membership in the NATO alliance.


TRTWorld and agencies