Poland is in talks with the United States to host permanent US army bases, and the talks are “on the right track,” the country’s defence minister said on Tuesday.
Mariusz Błaszczak told public broadcaster Polish Radio that he had discussed the idea of a permanent presence of US troops in Poland with officials in Washington.
“I have talked twice with President Donald Trump’s national security advisers, both the previous one, Gen. McMaster, and the current one, Ambassador Bolton, and I have also talked with Defence Secretary James Mattis many times,” Błaszczak said.
“Those were good talks,” he added.
The Washington Post reported last week that the United States could be weighing options for withdrawing its troops stationed in Germany and possibly moving them to Poland.
According to the Washington Post, the Pentagon is analysing the costs and potential implications of a large-scale withdrawal or transfer of American troops stationed in Germany.
Błaszczak told Polish Radio in an interview on Tuesday that Poland would benefit from hosting US troops on a permanent basis.
Permanent US army bases would provide a further security guarantee for the country, he said.
Błaszczak was last month quoted as saying that Poland was seeking to host permanent US army basesand was ready to cover part of the costs involved.
Paweł Soloch, head of the Polish president’s National Security Bureau (BBN), said in June that Poland was eyeing becoming “a hub for the presence of American troops in Europe.”
Leaders from the Baltic states have welcomed the idea of a permanent US military base being established in Poland, Polish Radio has reported.
Amid fears of Russian aggression following Moscow’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014, NATO decided at a Warsaw summit in July 2016 to deploy four rotating multinational battalions to Poland and the Baltic states.