Mike Pompeo signs defence agreement to send 1,000 more US troops to Poland

WARSAW (BLOOMBERG) – Poland and the US signed an expanded defence cooperation agreement that will result in 1,000 additional US personnel being sent to the Eastern European country on a rotational basis.

The deal, agreed earlier this month, and signed on Saturday (Aug 15) in Warsaw by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, follows the US’ decision to withdraw about 12,000 troops from Germany and plans to redeploy almost half of that number to other nations in Europe.

It envisages that Poland will host forward elements of the US Army’s V Corps headquarters and intelligence, and surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities as well as the infrastructure to support an armoured brigade combat team and a combat aviation brigade on top of the 4,500 personnel already on rotation in the eastern European nation.

Poland will cover the costs of the presence, which its defence ministry estimated at 500 million zloty (S$180 million) a year.

“I believe the agreement will help boost cooperation in other areas; more security means more investment by American companies, including more cooperation in the energy industry,” President Andrzej Duda said at the signing ceremony.

The nations have also been negotiating a bilateral civil nuclear power agreement to help Poland to “decisively move ahead” in building nuclear plants with American technology, the White House said in June.

Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller confirmed nuclear power was among the topics raised by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at his meeting with Pompeo earlier on Saturday.

“Excited that the US and PL took another important step towards enhancing Poland’s energy security through the Intergovernmental Agreement on nuclear power,” Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher tweeted on Saturday.

Pompeo and Morawiecki also discussed the situation in Belarus, as well as co-operation in 5G network construction, and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would link Russia and Germany.

Poland welcomed US sanctions aimed at halting the pipeline’s construction, Muller said.

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