US, Poland sign defense cooperation deal

Mike Pompeo and Poland’s Minister of Defence Mariusz Blaszczak sign the US-Poland Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement | Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak sign deal that paves the way for redeployment of American troops from Germany to Poland.

By

Updated

Poland and the U.S. signed an agreement on deeper defense cooperation on Saturday.

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, signed in Poland by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, sets out the legal framework for the additional presence of U.S. troops in Poland. The country was Pompeo’s final stop on a four-nation tour of Central and Eastern Europe.

Polish Foreign Affairs Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told a press conference that the deal is of “historic importance” and that it “has crowned the efforts to guarantee the security and safe development” in Poland.

“It [the deal] gives a green light to start in practice new quality of stable and visible American military engagement in Poland,” he added.

The pact allows U.S. forces to access additional Polish military installations in order to enhance the existing capabilities and facilities, and paves the way for the redeployment of American troops from Germany to Poland. It also provides a mechanism for the sharing of logistical and infrastructure costs for U.S. forces present in Poland.

The U.S. has similar agreements with other NATO allies such as Belgium, Hungary and Romania.

Czaputowicz and Pompeo also discussed the situation in Belarus — Poland has been one of the countries that has called for re-running the presidential election in its neighboring country.

Pompeo said that the election, held last weekend, wasn’t either free or fair and that the U.S. will be supporting Belarus and the the country’s civic society, without giving any details.

On Friday, EU foreign ministers took the first steps toward imposing sanctions on top officials in Belarus. In Poland, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced his plan to help civil society in Belarus, for example by supporting the protesters and easing border controls and access to the Polish labor market for Belarusian citizens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *