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Ex-NATO chief backs permanent US base in Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 02.11.2018 09:43
Former NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said he backs a permanent US base in Poland.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Photo: Aaron Hostutler [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsAnders Fogh Rasmussen. Photo: Aaron Hostutler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In an interview for Polish Radio, the former secretary-general who served from 2009-2014 said a possible permanent base in Poland should be discussed and unanimously agreed by all NATO members.

Rasmussen added that he thought it strange that there was not already a permanent base close to Russia, which he said posed a great threat.

He said that a permanent US base in Poland would improve regional security.

Poland already hosts US troops. The Polish President has previously said that a Polish section of a US missile defence shield over Europe is being built by the Americans at Redzikowo in the north of the country, some 1,000 American soldiers are stationed in the northeastern town of Orzysz, and there is a US troop presence as part of NATO.

But President Andrzej Duda wants more troops amid fears of Russian aggression.

Błażej Spychalski, a spokesman for the Polish president, said at the end of September that Warsaw wanted to spend about USD 2 billion to build infrastructure for American soldiers in Poland, including “housing, educational facilities, medical facilities.”

He also said Poland and the US were yet to agree on a location, with Washington preferring to set up the base in central Poland and Warsaw wanting the base in the country’s east.

Polish officials have suggested naming a new base Fort Trump, after US President Donald Trump.

Senior Polish parliamentarian Adam Bielan said earlier this year that a decision on a possible permanent US troop presence in Poland was likely to be made in 2019.

Rasmussen has also said that sanctions and pressure on Moscow need to be kept up, adding that "the only language that [Russian President Vladimir Putin] understands is "force".

tags: NATO, Russia
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