UK to send troops to Poland for NATO exercises
PR dla Zagranicy
The UK will send close to 1,000 troops to take part in NATO exercises in Poland this summer, Britain's ministry of defence has revealed.
The move follows Poland's appeals for the consolidation of NATO's eastern flank in the wake of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
The UK's defence secretary Michael Fallon will elaborate on the commitment on Wednesday afternoon in Edinburgh, following a meeting with his Polish counterpart, Antoni Macierewicz.
“The long history between our countries is deeply rooted,” a statement by Fallon stresses.
“This troop commitment demonstrates the UK’s vital work with NATO allies, including Poland, to ensure our collective forces are primed and ready and sends a clear message to our allies that we are ready to respond to any threat.”
The confirmation comes amid talks between Poland and the UK concerning the British government's bid to renegotiate its membership of the EU.
Poland's socially conservative Law and Justice government has affirmed that it wants the UK to stay in the EU, with a referendum due on the matter in Britain.
British prime minister's David Cameron's proposed changes could see immigrant benefits curtailed, a move that would affect thousands of Poles who recently arrived in the UK.
In interviews with the press this month, Poland's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski indicated that Poland was open to negotiation on the benefits question, although he then gave a contradictory statement to Polish journalists.
Yesterday, during a debate on the rule of law in Poland at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Leader of the UK Conservatives in the parliament MEP Syed Kamall appeared to give a strong signal of support for the Law and Justice government, amid strong statements both for and against Law and Justice from other MEPs.
UK troops due to come to Poland this summer include 800 as part of NATO's biennial Exercise Anaconda, followed by 150 as part of Exercise Swift Response.
About 1000 troops will also come to Poland in 2020 as part of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.
Poland is due to host a NATO summit in Warsaw this July, with the Polish government hoping for a permanent NATO presence in the country. (nh/pk)