Warsaw, Poland – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak signed “The Enhance Defence Co-operation Agreement” in Warsaw on Saturday. Based on the agreement, the US presence in Poland would increase by another 1,000 troops, bringing the total number to 5,500, after Washington decided to tone down its military presence in neighbouring Germany.
According to the Polish President Andrzej Duda, this move will “serve to increase the security of other countries in our part of Europe.”
Last month, the U.S. had announced that it will be moving almost 12,000 troops from Germany, but not all soldiers are to be sent home, as some will be redeployed to other European countries, including Poland, Italy, and Belgium. The move comes after a long campaign by the Polish governing Law and Justice party to strengthen U.S. presence in the country. germany poland US troops
While visiting the White House in June, the Polish President Andrzej Duda advocated for establishing a permanent American base in Poland – dubbed by some as “Fort Trump.” Although the agreement comes short of a permanent base, it opens up avenues for further strengthening American presence.
It also puts forward a formula based on which Washington and Warsaw will share the cost of the U.S. presence in the country. According to Reuters, Warsaw will pay around 500 million zlotys (135 million USD) per year.
During his visit in Poland, Pompeo also spoke with the Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz about the situation in Belarus, where the state police – under the orders of President Alexander Lukashenko – ushered a violent crackdown on protesters.
As part of the meeting with the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Pompeo, according to a statement, discussed “recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, securing 5G networks, and improving regional energy and infrastructure through the Three Seas Initiative.”
Poland was the last stop on Pompeo’s trip across Central Europe, which began on Tuesday in the Czech Republic, followed by visits in Slovenia and Austria. While in Poland, Pompeo also attended a ceremony to mark the centenary of the Battle of Warsaw.