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Poland's defence minister calls for stronger NATO presence

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 03.11.2015 09:36
There can be no stopping Russia’s aggressive policy without the presence of NATO in Eastern Europe, Poland's outgoing Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has argued.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Tomasz Siemoniak (C). Photo: PAP/Paweł SupernakDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Tomasz Siemoniak (C). Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Siemoniak was commenting on an article published on Thursday in The Wall Street Journal which said that NATO is considering increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe.

“NATO countries are discussing increasing the number of troops stationed in members bordering Russia and putting them under formal alliance command, as part of a new effort to deter aggression from Moscow, the newspaper reported.

Siemoniak said that the NATO summit in Wales last year opened the discussion on how to substitute the rotational presence of NATO forces in this part of Europe for a stationary one.

“We would like to see an enlarged presence of NATO forces in Poland, said Minister Siemoniak, “and we hope that the July 2016 summit of the Alliance in Warsaw will bring decisions on the reinforcement of the presence of NATO forces in this country, he added.

Early October this year saw an agreement between Poland and the USA on the location of heavy military equipment on NATO's eastern flank.

Minister Siemoniak noted that 2016 will see the launch of the construction of anti-missile installations in Radzikowo, north western Poland.

Referring to the planned Wednesday meeting in Bucharest of CEE leaders, Minister Siemoniak said it was a very good move on the part of Polish President Andrzej Duda to launch active discussions on security issues among countries in the region.

“This gives hope that the Warsaw NATO summit will see a unified stand of the region,” Siemoniak concluded.

Siemoniak is a member of the centrist Civic Platform party which lost the 25 October general election to the conservative Law and Justice party. He has said that he will enter the race for the leadership of Civic Platform if Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz does not run. (ab/nh/rk)

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