President, Pentagon chief discuss security cooperation
President Andrzej Duda met on Friday in Warsaw with visiting US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for talks on enhancing bilateral cooperation in security amid Russia's actions jeopardising peace in Central and Eastern Europe.
Commenting on the meeting, Pawel Soloch, the head of Poland's National Security Bureau (BBN) said that Austin's visit to Poland confirmed US commitment to the region's security.
Paweł Soloch told PAP that during the Friday talks „it was said that Polish–US relations, also in the military aspect, serve the security and cohesion of the whole Western community, especially those countries that operate within the North Atlantic Alliance.”
One of the topics discussed by Andrzej Duda and Austin was the tense situation around Ukraine, he reported.
„In the last few days.... we have been dealing with an increased threat of a Russian attack on Ukraine rather than a de–escalation,” Paweł Soloch said.
In Soloch's opinion, Austin's visit to Warsaw „is a signal sent by the United States to Poland, to the countries of the region, and to all European allies of the USA that Americans care about the security of the whole European continent, and expect solidarity and concerted commitment to building deterrent measures.”
He pointed out the increased US military presence in Poland in connection with the situation in Ukraine and added that „there was also talk of an additional strengthening of the allied and US presence.”
Paweł Soloch also said that Andrzej Duda and Lloyd Austin discussed the purchase by Poland of 250 American Abrams battle tanks in the latest upgraded M1A2 SEPv3 (System Enhanced Package) version. (PAP)