17 August 202018:51

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the agreement to increase the US military presence in Poland

1216-17-08-2020

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On August 15, the United States and Poland signed an agreement on enhanced defence cooperation between the two countries. The agreement lays the foundation for the further buildup of the already substantial US presence on Polish territory. The total number of US troops in Poland is expected to increase by another 1,000 troops in addition to the 4,500 troops that are already stationed there. The document envisages the development of US Armed Forces command and staff and combat training centres, plus the creation of conditions for deploying army and transport aviation units, drones, task forces and elements of logistics and other support.

Needless to say, this agreement did not come as a surprise to anyone – it formalised the 2019 agreements between presidents Donald Trump and Andrzej Duda. The anti-Russia message in this document is beyond doubt, and is in fact emphasised by US and Polish officials in every possible way. The agreed-upon measures fully meet the guidelines of the recent NATO summits that have reaffirmed a course of “containing” Russia, creating division lines and escalating tensions in Europe, while refusing to cooperate on the common goals proclaimed in OSCE documents after the end of the Cold War, the goals to create a common space of cooperation and trust.

Once again, we must point out that the buildup of a US military presence in Poland will not resolve any security problem. On the contrary, it complicates an already difficult situation at Russia’s western borders and contributes to the escalation of tensions while increasing the risk of unexpected incidents.

In our opinion, NATO’s assurances that the agreement only provides for an insignificant and rotational contingent of reinforcements are simply attempts to distort reality because the implementation of the agreement will allow the sides to fundamentally increase the offensive potential of US forces in Poland.

These plans change the terms of European security and run counter to the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act that determines the common goal of enhancing stability in the Euro-Atlantic Region. It is now necessary to analyse how the provisions in the agreement comply with the commitment to not resort to “additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces” in the Founding Act.

The US is again demonstrating its willingness, if this is what is required by its interests, to forego not only their commitments under multilateral agreements but also the opinion of the majority of the European states. This completely discredits statements by NATO functionaries that the alliance is interested in enhancing security and reducing tensions in Europe. Russia’s specific proposals on de-escalation along Russia-NATO contact lines remain unanswered.

We urge the NATO states to give up their stake on confrontation with us and return to restraint in the spirit of the Russia-NATO Founding Act. It is also clear it that it is high time to conduct a practical and sincere dialogue on European security and restore our military contacts.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Council of Europe (CoE)

European Union (EU)

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