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US-Poland defense pact ‘new factor of tension’: Russia

Moscow ‘closely’ following expansion of military cooperation between US, Poland, says Kremlin spokesman

Elena Teslova   | 13.06.2019
US-Poland defense pact ‘new factor of tension’: Russia File Photo

MOSCOW

Russia is “closely” following and “scrupulously” examines the expansion of military cooperation between the U.S. and Poland, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

The Russian Defense Ministry with “great attention” analyzes information to prevent any threats to the safety of the Russian Federation, Peskov told reporters in Moscow.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a new defense agreement that will send roughly 1,000 more U.S. troops to Poland.

Duda and other top Polish officials had been lobbying for a bump to U.S. forces, as well as a permanent U.S. base, in the Central European nation amid concerns about Russian activity in Eastern Europe, particularly its support for separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, and annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

Duda hailed the decision, saying it marks "another era" in defense relations between Warsaw and Washington, stressing it is ultimately up to the U.S. to decide "how many troops will be sent to Poland."

In a statement, Russian Foreign ministry called the U.S.-Poland defense pact "a new factor of tension" in Europe.

The ministry said the agreement violates one of the basic point of NATO-Russia Founding Act that restricts deployment of additional military forces in Europe on a regular basis.

"Thus, a new factor of military and political tension is emerging in Europe. Further dangerous military build-up on the continent is being carried out by Washington without taking into account obligations under multilateral instruments," the ministry said.

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