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NATO to decide on location of new command centres in June

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 15.02.2018 10:30
The locations of new NATO command centres will be decided at a meeting of the alliance's defence ministers in June, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.
Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Sgt. Justin Geiger/U.S. Army (Public Domain)Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Sgt. Justin Geiger/U.S. Army (Public Domain)

A Wednesday meeting of NATO defence ministers talked about two command centres, one for planning and strategy for the North Atlantic, the other for logistics in Europe, which the US and Germany have offered to host.

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said Poland's suggestion of setting up a possible third centre for army command was not discussed.

"The issue [of an army command centre] has not been decided. Today we spoke of two command centres -- one for support and the other to monitor the transatlantic route... It would be difficult for Poland to aspire to [host] either of those," Błaszczak said.

The alliance agreed to review its command structure in response to new threats and challenges, including Russian aggression in Ukraine, during a summit in Warsaw in 2016.

Last year, NATO members agreed to set up a new centre in charge of keeping shipping lanes safe from enemy submarines and another focusing on moving troops more quickly across Europe in any possible conflict.

Antoni Macierewicz, who was the Polish defence minister at the time, said Poland was ready to host an army-level command centre. This readiness was reiterated by the country's new defence minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, earlier this year.

Poland offered the headquarters of the Multinational Corps Northeast, which was set up in Szczecin, northwestern Poland, in 1999, as the site for the proposed army command centre.

As well as agreeing to review command structures, the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw agreed to modernise its military and to bolster the alliance's eastern flank in response to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

NATO has said 2017 Russian war games were another reason to deter Moscow. (vb)

Source: PAP, IAR

tags: defence, NATO
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