Baltic states in favour of permanent US military base in Poland: report
PR dla Zagranicy
Leaders from the Baltic states have welcomed the idea of a permanent US military base being established in Poland, Polish Radio has reported.
Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz (left) and the prime ministers of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania -- Māris Kučinskis, Jüri Ratas and Saulius Skvernelis -- during a meeting in Tallinn on Monday. Photo: msz.gov.pl
The prime ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia voiced their support at a joint press conference with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz in Tallinn on Monday, according to the Polish public radio broadcaster.
All three heads of government, Lithuania’s Saulius Skvernelis, Latvia’s Māris Kučinskis and Estonia’s Jüri Ratas, came out in favour of the idea of building a permanent US military base in Poland, the broadcaster said.
"From the Estonian point of view, the presence of US troops in Poland and the Baltic states is very important," Estonia’s Ratas said during the press conference, as quoted by Polish Radio’s IAR news agency.
The Estonian prime minister added: "We will be happy to see the US become more active in Poland."
He noted that continued defence cooperation between the United States and the Baltic states was very important, IAR reported.
The agency also quoted Ratas as saying that the Baltic states expected a declaration by NATO leaders during their July summit in Brussels that security in the region would be strengthened.
Poland’s Czaputowicz told the news conference that the presence of US troops in the region was a key deterrent, according to IAR.
"We would like this presence to be lasting and permanent and to be greater in the military sense,” Czaputowicz said, as quoted by IAR.
He added: “We want to create the maximum conditions for the United States to be able to function on a constant and permanent basis here.”
Czaputowicz also said that greater US military strength in the region meant a greater sense of security for Poland and the Baltics, IAR reported.
Czaputowicz's June 3-4 visit to Tallinn was aimed at strengthening regional cooperation among the Baltic Sea countries, the Polish foreign ministry said.
Amid fears of Russian aggression following Moscow's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014, NATO decided at a Warsaw summit in July 2016 to deploy four rotating multinational battalions to Poland and the three Baltic states.
Source: IAR, msz.gov.pl