The United States on Tuesday inaugurated its first permanent army base in Poland, which the ambassador to Warsaw said was a sign of NATO unity in the face of Russian aggression.
More than 10,000 US soldiers are currently stationed in Poland, which has become the main transit country for international aid and equipment to neighbour Ukraine.
The US garrison — the eighth in Europe — was established in the western city of Poznan.
“This is historic. And it signals that we are here to stay,” Mark Brzezinski, the US ambassador, said at the inauguration ceremony.
“It signals to the world that the United States is committed to Poland, and to the NATO alliance. That we are united in the face of Russian aggression,” he added.
The garrison was established following US President Joe Biden’s announcement last year of a permanent US presence in Poland.
Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said, “we highly appreciate the permanent US presence in Poland, especially nowadays in Europe when Russia has invaded Ukraine and is trying to rebuild its empire.”
“The US army troops on NATO’s eastern flank will be commanded from Poland,” he added at the ceremony, calling the garrison “important for the security of Poland but also for the security of NATO”.