Mariusz Błaszczak revealed that a multinational training command would be set up in Poland in the near future, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s polskieradio24.pl website reported.
Błaszczak, who also serves as a Polish deputy prime minister, made the announcement following a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday, polskieradio24.pl reported.
Earlier in the day, EU ambassadors struck a political agreement on a military assistance mission for Ukrainian troops that would operate in several of the bloc’s member states, the euractiv.com news service reported.
Błaszczak told reporters in Brussels, as cited by polskieradio24.pl: “An EU mission to train Ukrainians will also be organised in Poland,” adding that "an important operational headquarters will be set up in Poland soon."
The EU Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM) is expected to provide training to up to 15,000 Ukrainian armed services personnel, focusing on air defence, medical support, as well as defending Ukraine against cyber, chemical, biological and nuclear attacks, according to Polish Radio's IAR news agency.
Multinational training command in Poland
Under the plan, a “multinational operational-level training command” will be based in Poland, The Times newspaper reported.
The Polish headquarters is likely to be located near the Ukrainian border, close to the southeastern city of Rzeszów, which has become a hub for military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, euractiv.com reported.
Meanwhile, a special command in Germany will work on mine clearance and large-scale tactical training, according to The Times.
In addition, several training centres will be set up elsewhere in the EU, according to euractiv.com.
EU states reach agreement
The plan for an EU military assistance mission for Ukraine had been in the works even before Russia invaded the country on February 24, polskieradio24.pl noted.
At the start of the year, the government in Kyiv asked the bloc to send military experts to Ukraine.
The request was met with support from most of the EU’s members in central and eastern Europe, according to polskieradio24.pl.
At the same time, there was opposition from Germany, as well as Italy, Greece and Cyprus. which feared such a move would escalate tensions between the bloc and Russia, polskieradio24.pl said.
Now EU states have struck an agreement on the plan and the military assistance mission will be based mainly in member countries that border Ukraine, Polish Radio reported on Thursday.
Thursday is day 232 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: polskieradio24.pl, euractiv.com, thetimes.co.uk