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Warsaw delighted with Biden's promise to establish 5th Army permanent HQ in Poland

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

TVN24 News in English, Reuters, PAP

Poland on Wednesday hailed U.S. President Joe Biden's commitment to establish the 5th Army's Headquarters in Poland as the realisation of a long-held dream that would send a clear signal to Russia. "In Poland we're gonna establish a permanent headquarters for the US Fifth Army Corps and strengthening our US NATO inter-operability across the entire eastern flank," Biden told NATO summit held in Madrid.

Biden told a NATO summit in Madrid earlier on Wednesday that the United States was changing its force posture in Europe to deal with potential new threats from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine

"Today I am announcing the United States will enhance our forced posture in Europe and respond to the changed security environment as well as strengthening our collective security. Earlier this year we surged 20,000 additional US forces to Europe to bolster our alliance in response to Russia's aggressive move, bringing our force total in Europe to 100,000. We're gonna continue to adjust our posture based on the threat in close consultation with our allies," Biden said.

"Here in Spain we're gonna work with our ally to increase US Navy Destroyers stationed in Spain Roto navy base from four to six, four to six Destroyers. In Poland we're gonna establish a permanent headquarters for the US Fifth Army Corps and strengthening our US NATO inter-operability across the entire eastern flank. We're gonna maintain additional rotational brigade which is 3,000 fighters, and another 2000 personnel combat team here in Europe headquartered in Romania. And we're gonna enhance our rotational deployments in the Baltic states, and we're gonna send two additional F-35s Squadrons to the UK and station additional air defence and other capabilities in Germany and in Italy," he listed.

"We're gonna improve NATO's strategic concept and reaffirm the unity and determination of our alliance to defend every inch of NATO territory. And article five is sacrosanct and we mean it when we say an attack against one is an attack against all. Every inch. And so at this summit the full alliance is gonna welcome Finland and Sweden, historic application for membership and the decision to move away from neutrality and the tradition of neutrality to join the NATO alliance is gonna make us stronger and more secure and NATO stronger," Biden stressed.

"And together our allies, we're gonna make up sure that NATO is ready to meet threats from all directions across every domain, land, air and the sea. At the moment Putin has shattered peace in Europe and attacked the very, very tenants of rule based order the United States and our allies, we're gonna step up, we're stepping up. We're proving that NATO is more needed now than it ever has been and is as important as it ever has been," the U.S. president added.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Joe Biden for his "personal leadership and the US commitment to NATO, to European security demonstrated by the announcements you just made to further increase US presence in Europe and this really demonstrates your decisive leadership in strengthening the transatlantic bond". "And we also see that in the unwavering support from you and from the United States to Ukraine," NATO chief added.

Since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014, Poland has viewed an increase in NATO troops on the Western alliance's eastern flank as vital to ensure central Europe's security in the face of increased Russian assertiveness and has long sought a permanent U.S. military base on its soil.

"It is a success which comes from long and consistent negotiations on this matter and, at the same time, a very clear sign that the Americans intend to increase, not decrease, their presence in Poland," Jakub Kumoch, the Polish president's foreign policy advisor, told Reuters.

"Something that seemed impossible to many is becoming a fact today," Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz wrote on Twitter.

"We have a PERMANENT U.S. presence in Poland... It is also a clear signal to Moscow" - Przydacz added.

In 2018, Poland, which borders Ukraine and close Russian ally Belarus, proposed naming a military base in honour of then U.S. president Donald Trump, in return for him establishing permanent presence there.

"Fort Trump" did not however materialise during Trump's time in office.

Defence minister: permanent U.S. military presence is what we've been striving for

"A decision has been made which we've been striving for for years, namely the USA announced that a forward element of V Corps Headquarters would be permanently stationed in Poland. It's very important. Earlier we had rotational presence, then we negotiated enhanced presence, and now we have permanent presence. That's what we've been striving for," Poland's Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said at a press conference on Wednesday in Madrid.

"So we can say openly that it's Poland from where the American forces, either already operating or soon to be operating on NATO eastern flank, will be commanded. Besides, the Alliance has been so designed that it is primarily strengthened in danger situations," Błaszczak added.

The minister also assured that Poland was prepared such enforcement and storage facilities for American weapons and military equipment were under construction, adding that said investments were cofinanced by Poland, NATO and the USA.

"A historic breakthrough"

"We have a historic breakthrough ... the North-Atlantic Alliance will be joined by Sweden and Finland, and so new dillemas will emerge for Russia, for Russia's aggressive policy, which is also very beneficial from the point of view of our country," Błaszczak said.

Speaking about Finland, the minister praised the country's general national defence mechanism calling it "impressive". He also spoke highly of Sweden's advanced military technology.

"And so there's no doubt that Sweden and Finland's presence stregthens the North-Atlantic Alliance, increases safety of NATO eastern flank. If we add this historic breakthrough ... then we may say we have gained a lot in terms of the security of our homeland," said Poland's MOD chief.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters, PAP

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