It was officially announced on Wednesday that the United States plans to increase its military presence in Poland, raising the approximately 4,500-strong rotational presence of military personnel by about 1,00 additional troops. A declaration on defence cooperation, signed in Washington by the presidents of both countries, Donald Trump and Andrzej Duda, provides for the creation in Poland of an Extended USA Divisional Command and a squadron of MQ-9 Reaper drones of the US Air Force.
The Russian embassy in Poland cited its Foreign Ministry's position on the matter on Twitter on Thursday: "We learnt with regret of the decision of Washington and Warsaw on deploying a strengthened contingent of the USA's armed forces in Poland. We believe that in this way a powerful blow has been struck to one of the key provisions of the Russia-NATO Founding Act of 1997."
Referring to the Tweet, the US embassy in Poland stressed on Twitter on Friday: "Contrary to the misleading Tweet of the Russian embassy in Poland, the deployment of American armed forces in Poland is entirely in line with our obligations towards NATO and is of a defensive nature. It should be remembered that Russian provocations demanded actions from NATO with a view to protecting Poland's borders."
US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher also responded on Twitter on Friday: "The Russian Embassy in Poland should be ashamed!" she wrote. "It is because of such threats as those that you utter today, that the joint USA-PL declaration on defence cooperation signed in Washington this week was necessary."
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Russian armed forces were carefully observing plans for an increased US military presence in Poland and would do what was necessary for the actions to not threaten the security of the Russian Federation in any way.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Riabkov said that Moscow was concerned by the Washington-Warsaw decision to locate US drones in Poland, adding that it raised the question of how it relates to the agreements between Russia and NATO.
Several Russian parliamentarians declared that Moscow would respond to plans to deploy a squadron of Reaper drones to Poland and gave their assurance that Russia would make the necessary funds available. (PAP)