Poland and the United States signed an agreement Saturday that will increase the number of U.S. troops in Poland. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, signed in Poland by 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. The deal paves the way for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Germany to Poland, and allows U.S. forces to access additional Polish military installations to enhance existing capabilities and facilities.
Under the deal the number of troops in Poland will rise to 5,500. It comes after the Pentagon announced plans to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Germany by 12,000. 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.
Polish Foreign Affairs Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said the deal “has crowned the efforts to guarantee the security and safe development” and “gives a green light to start in practice new quality of stable and visible American military engagement in Poland.” 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. Poland has called for re-running the election, and on Friday European Union (E.U.) foreign ministers moved toward imposing sanctions on top officials in Belarus.