Russian Federation says United States troop buildup is 'a threat'
- Author: Megan Austin Jan 15, 2017,
Jan 15, 2017, 0:44
Officials say the rotation of troops and added equipment will enhance deterrence capabilities in the region and add to the USA ability to respond to potential crises.
"It's a third country that is building up its military presence on our borders in Europe", he said.
Polish defence minister Antoni Macierewicz said the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation deployment puts an end to Russia's influence in the region.
USA troops and tanks began arriving in Poland Thursday, part of one of the largest deployments of United States forces in Europe since the Cold War that will eventually involve more than 3,000 soldiers. "It isn't even a European country".
"This operation threatens our interests and our security", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.
A contingent of United States troops entered Poland at the Olszyna border crossing with Germany on Thursday.
Soldiers in camouflage with tanks and other vehicles crossed into southwestern Poland on Thursday morning from Germany and headed for Zagan, their planned base.
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The arrival of the troops will be announced in official ceremonies on Saturday. Trump's friendly overtures toward Russian President Vladimir Putin have raised questions in Eastern Europe about security under the new American administration. It came shortly after Crimea's vote to join Russian Federation as a demonstration of "continued USA commitment to the collective security of Europe".
"Even after 1989 we had to continuously wonder whether the Russians won't veto this or that action", Macierewicz added who has been urging for better contracts with the U.S. military.
Some Poles still feel betrayed by Obama's "reset" with Russian Federation early on in his administration, which involved abandoning plans for a major USA missile defence system in Poland and replacing it with plans for a less ambitious system, still not in place.
The forces are expected to eventually fan out across several countries from Bulgaria to Estonia.
A "permanent" deployment would violate agreements with Russia, The Guardian reports, and so troops will be rotated out every nine months. Speaking more bluntly, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski voiced hope that any overture to Russian Federation "does not happen at our expense".
Also previous year, Moscow's deployment of nuclear-capable Iskander missiles into its Kaliningrad outpost and frequent military drills in the Baltic region rattled neighbouring North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members Poland and Lithuania.