MEP Terras: Poland ready to receive all 9,500 US troops from Germany

Riho Terras MEP.
Riho Terras MEP. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

MEP and former defense chief Riho Terras said Poland would be prepared to receive all 9,500 US troops withdrawn from Germany, ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" news program reported on Friday.

Military cooperation between the US and Poland is intensifying and the relationship between countries is good. Last week, President Donald Trump announced that 2,000 soldiers out of the 9,500 leaving Germany would be transferred to Poland, the news program reported.

The question is how prepared Poland is to receive troops, that they have enough space for thousands of soldiers. Terras said Poland is prepared.

"The Polish political leadership has long worked hard to keep American troops in Poland. As has Estonia. I think the Poles are ready to receive the Americans on any terms, and I believe, to the full extent that is to be withdrawn from Germany," Terras (Isamaa) said.

Sven Sakkov, director of the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS), said that with this move, the American president is pointing a finger at Germany, but in fact, the move punishes the whole of NATO.

"Unfortunately, there is only one each of the combat units or combat service support units that the US currently has in Germany. In fact, it has already been worn thin over the last 20 years that moving anything out of Europe will take the whole set apart and may not leave behind an operational force," Sakkov said.

At the same time, he said it is not known which units will be moving and where the ones not going to Poland will go.

Both Sakkov and Terras said the negative aspect is that there is opposition between key NATO members - Germany and the United States. However, the 9,500 soldiers are not yet packing up their bags. Congress must allocate money for the operation. Terras said transporting them across the ocean in peace time conditions could take years.

Last week, US President Donald Trump has approved a plan to withdraw 9,500 US troops from bases in Germany and has previously said that some of them will be brought back home, while others will be deployed to Poland and elsewhere.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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