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memri
June 12, 2018 No.
7518

Russia-NATO Update – Reactions To Poland's Offer To Secure A Permanent U.S. Base On Its Soil

Russia-NATO Update is a review by the MEMRI Russian Media Studies Project, covering the latest news on Russia-NATO relations from the Russian and East European media.

In late May, Politico.eu published an article stating that Poland seeks a permanent U.S. base on its soil, and Warsaw is ready to offer US up to $2B for it. Politico wrote: "The Polish offer reflects a long-standing desire in Warsaw to build closer security relations with the U.S. and put American boots on the ground. The push dates back to Poland’s entry into NATO in 1999, but has taken on added urgency in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region four years ago and aggressive posture toward the alliance."[1]

Following the news, Russian policymakers and diplomats reacted as follows:

Deputy FM Grushko: It's Impossible To Provide Security Against Russia And Without Russia

Deputy FM Aleksandr Grushko, former Russian permanent representative to NATO, commented:

"Of course, we should take in our military planning all those means and troops which might be deployed in this territory. We will do everything possible to 'nullify' those actions, while the Europeans will eventually understand that actually this is a waste of money and another attempt to erect a new dividing line by using military means. And [They will also understand] that security in Europe cannot be guaranteed against Russia and without Russia."

(Ria.ru, May 29, 2018)

Kremlin Spokesman Peskov: These Expansionist Steps Result In Counteractions Of The Russian Side

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "In general, when we record gradual expansion of NATO military structure towards our borders, when NATO infrastructure directly approaches our borders, this certainly does not contribute to security and stability on the continent in any way…

"On the contrary, these expansionist steps, certainly, result in counteractions by the Russian side to balance the parity which is violated every time this way."

(Tass.com, May 28, 2018)

MP Shvytkin: Poland's Policy Is Militarized

Yuri Shvytkin, deputy head of the State Duma’s Security Committee:

"In my opinion, this policy followed by the Polish leadership does not coincide with Polish public opinion. It's obvious that the policy of the country's leadership is militarized."

(Ria.ru, May 28, 2018)

Senator Serebrennikov: The Russian MOD Is Ready For Countermeasures

Evgeny Serebrennikov, the deputy head of the Federation Council Committee on defense and security, said:

"The Russian diplomatic community continues to work in this direction, hoping to prevent this decision or to persuade Poland to abandon it. But, despite diplomatic efforts, the [Russian] Ministry of Defense is ready for countermeasures, and - as far as I know - such actions are already being taken."

(Ria.ru, May 28, 2018)

Senator Bondarev: Poland Will Lose Financially And Politically

Viktor Bondarev, chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Defense and Security Committee and former RUAF chief of staff, said:

"An American military base in Poland will be unable to constitute a real threat to Russia's security, yet it may destabilize the situation in Eastern Europe… Two billion in U.S. dollars is not a trifling sum for the Polish budget. Should this decision be implemented, Poland will lose out not only financially but also politically and strategically."

(Ria.ru, May 28, 2018)

Nationalist Politician Starikov: The U.S. Assigned Poland The Role To Weaken The E.U.

Nikolay Starikov, leader of the popular movement "Patriots of Great Motherland":

"Poland constantly wants to position itself as the main U.S. ally in Europe, to be 'holier than the Pope in Rome'… I think Poland understands full well the role assigned to the Poles by the Americans, in the business of weakening the EU and creating a potential conflict with Germany. Not only financial preferences, which Poland hopes to achieve, play a role, but there are also some phantom imperial pangs present – Poland as a state wants to see itself extend 'from sea to sea'. They have yet to renounce this illusory dream."

(Ria.ru, May 29, 2018)

More News On Russia-NATO Relations:

Commenting on the NATO’s Saber Strike 2018 large-scale drills (June 3-15, 2018), Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: Moscow always closely tracks all NATO maneuvers, especially those drills that have a certain degree of proximity to our borders. Naturally, all the relevant ministries have taken all the required measures to ensure our country’s security amid such maneuvers."

The maneuvers involve around a 3,000-strong contingent comprised of personnel from 12 countries - Albania, the United States, Denmark, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Great Britain, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and Germany. This year, the drills are being held in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland with the involvement of 18,000 troops from 19 countries. (Tass.com, June 4, 2018; read the full article)

 

 

 

[1] Politico.eu, May 30, 2018.