Polish FM Says Up to 10,000 NATO Soldiers to Be Deployed in Country

© REUTERS / Kacper PempelA Polish soldier stands near US and Poland's national flags and a NATO flag in Swidwin, northern west Poland, April 23, 2014
A Polish soldier stands near US and Poland's national flags and a NATO flag in Swidwin, northern west Poland, April 23, 2014 - Sputnik International
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As many as 10,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) soldiers will be deployed in Poland as part of the Alliance's expanded military presence on its eastern flank, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Monday.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A NATO summit was held on July 8-9 in Poland's capital and focused on relations with Russia. During the summit, the Alliance decided to strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe on a rotational basis with four battalions in Poland and in the Baltic nations.

"We are not talking only about a few battalions — we are adding…[ultra-fast response] forces, the US brigade and missile shield base in Redzikowo. During different periods of time, even 10 thousand NATO soldiers could be placed in Poland. This is significant military support. For us, this is a geostrategic shift in the balance of forces in the East," the minister told the weekly Do Rzeczy.

Since 2014, NATO has been building up its military presence in Europe, especially in Eastern European countries neighboring Russia, using Moscow’s alleged interference in the Ukrainian conflict as a pretext. Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims and warned NATO that the military buildup on Russia’s borders is provocative and threatens the existing strategic balance of power.

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