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Polish president says he will ask Biden to send more US troops to Poland

17.02.2023 08:45
Polish President Andrzej Duda has said he will ask Joe Biden to send more American soldiers and military equipment to Poland when the US leader visits Warsaw next week amid Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
Andrzej Duda.
Andrzej Duda.PAP/EPA/Andy Rain/POOL

Duda made the statement in a media interview on Thursday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

He was speaking in London, where he met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier on Thursday, and was due to be hosted by King Charles III on Friday.

Biden is set to make a three-day visit to Poland next week, and his schedule includes holding talks with his Polish counterpart and delivering a key speech in the gardens of Warsaw’s Royal Castle. 

US and other allied forces 'must be present in our part of Europe'

The Polish president told the state-run TVP Info news channel on Thursday night that if the United States and other NATO allies deployed more weapons to his country, it would be “an additional security guarantee” for Poland, allowing for faster movement of troops "in the event of a threat." 

Duda said: “We already have military bases and we have equipment, but in my view there should be more of it, and I will be urging President Joe Biden to take such steps.”

The Polish leader said he would "raise the issue of the US military presence not just during the summit of the Bucharest Nine" group of eastern-flank NATO allies, which will take place in Warsaw with Biden in attendance, “but mainly during President Biden’s visit to our presidential palace.”  

Duda also said that Biden’s key speech in Warsaw would be "delivered to the world” and would "have great, symbolic importance for building our security system.”

The Polish president told TVP Info that “for the guarantees under Article 5 of the NATO treaty to have a practical meaning,” US and other allied forces "must be present in our part of Europe, obviously from our point of view, especially in our country.”

‘An additional guarantee of our security’

Duda declared: “Today we have 10,000 American troops and a lot of American equipment in Poland, but I would like there to be even more equipment, I would like it to be stored in Poland and I will definitely discuss this with President Biden. But I would also like NATO equipment to be stored in Poland.”

The Polish president added: “This is my proposal for us, and this is also my proposal for our allies from the eastern-flank countries, because the process of boosting security, of responding to any significant threat will be much easier if NATO units from the US and Western Europe will be moving without equipment, because the equipment will be waiting for them here.”

He stated: “Let’s have this infrastructure here, providing an additional guarantee of our security.”

On Friday, Duda will head to Germany to attend the annual Munich Security Conference and meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, according to officials.

He said in Thursday’s interview that he would be "persuading" Scholz and Macron to have more NATO forces and equipment stationed in Poland, the PAP news agency reported.    

Friday is day 359 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, tvp.info