U.S.-Poland Defense Agreement Increases NATO-Russia Tension
Aug. 16, 2020 (EIRNS)—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Warsaw yesterday where he signed the U.S.-Poland Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak. “The EDCA reflects the shared vision outlined in the joint declarations signed by Presidents Trump and Duda in 2019, and reaffirmed during President Duda’s June 2020 visit to Washington, to deepen our defense cooperation,” the State Department’s fact sheet says about the agreement. “The EDCA supplements the 1951 NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and establishes a framework to enhance and modernize our capabilities, in support of the NATO Alliance’s collective defense. The United States has similar agreements with other NATO Allies such as Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.” It also outlines the legal status of U.S. forces in Poland as well as U.S. access to Polish military installations. “This Agreement also supports expanded infrastructure, and enables an increased U.S. military presence in Poland.” Poland will pay the costs of infrastructure and other support, and the U.S. will bear the costs of training, equipping, and deploying U.S. forces to Poland, “which is significantly higher than the cost of support Poland invests in support of U.S. forces once they are in country.”
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz called the agreement “the crowning glory of our efforts to provide security to our home country and to lay down conditions for its stable development,” during a joint press conference with Pompeo. “I know it will lead to good outcomes for each of our two countries, and the work that we all do as part of NATO as well,” Pompeo added. “It paves the way, centrally, for an additional thousand troops into Poland on top of the 4,500 that are here presently.”
Polish President Andrzej Duda, who was present at the signing ceremony, declared that “Not only will there be more U.S. Army soldiers, not only will there be more American infrastructure in our country, but there will also be a stronger guarantee that our soldiers will stand shoulder to shoulder in the face of any danger, whether it threatens Poland or the U.S..”
Blaszczak told PAP news agency that Poland had “negotiated more than we assumed.” He said that thanks to the development of infrastructure, also to be used by the Polish army, it will be possible to receive up to 20,000 U.S. soldiers on Polish territory.
Dmitry Polyanskiy, the First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, who has spoken at Schiller Institute events, tweeted: “A new blow to prospects of Russia-Nato cooperation and trust. As for #Poland, strange but clear trend: throughout history, instead of strengthening independence this country somehow seeks deeper vassal dependence on big powers! [shrugging emoji] A topic for historians and doctors to explore!”