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Minister Sikorski wants more reassurances from the US and NATO

5th November 2009
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Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski has said Central Europe needs “strategic reassurance” from Washington, and that NATO forces should be deployed in the region to highlight its importance to the alliance.

Mr Sikorski said he welcomed last month's visit of US Vice President Joe Biden to Poland. It eased concerns over the missile shield plans, but military capabilities would have been more convincing than words, the minister said.

"If you can still afford it, we need some strategic reassurance," Mr Sikorski said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Mr Sikorski said he remains to be convinced about the US's commitment to Polish security, and has asked for a greater presence of troops in the region, as currently there are only six US soldiers deployed in Poland. He also noted that Russia and Belarus had recently held war games extremely close to Polish borders.

"If you had on the one hand 900 tanks, and on the other six troops, would you be convinced?" he asked.

When Poland joined NATO a decade ago, Russia was promised that no substantial NATO forces would be sent to the region, Mr Sikorski added.

“But nobody imagined at this time that no forces would be put in whatsoever,” he added. “And so this is, I think, the job that is going to need to be done.” (JJ)

Source: Thomson Reuters

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