President Biden announced Wednesday that the US would increase its military presence in eastern Europe, including establishing the US military’s first permanent presence in Poland.
As he arrived at the NATO summit in Spain on Wednesday, Biden opened the visit with the announcement of the permanent basing of a US military garrison in Poland, adding the US would also maintain an additional rotational brigade of 3,000 fighters and 2,000 personnel in Romania.
The troops in Poland will be the first permanent US forces on NATO’s eastern flank.
Biden said the US would also enhance its rotational deployments in the Baltic region, which is comprised of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
“Today I’m announcing the United States will enhance our force posture in Europe and respond to the changing security environment as well as strengthening our collective security,” Biden said.
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►In the first day of the NATO summit, NATO allies approved a new Strategic Concept for the Alliance, describing how it will address threats and challenges to security moving forward. The document includes a statement that defines Russia as the “most significant and direct threat” to allies’ security.
►Ukraine will start trading electricity with European countries this week via the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity. Ukraine was previously part of the Integrated Power System that also includes Russia and Belarus.
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced Russia’s fiery airstrike on a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine as a “new war crime” Tuesday and vowed the West’s support for Kyiv would not waver, saying Moscow “cannot and should not win” the war.
The strike, which officials say killed at least 18 people, was one of the “most defiant acts of terrorism in European history,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. It was part of an unusually intense barrage of Russian fire across Ukraine, including in the capital, Kyiv, that renewed international attention as the war drags on.
Zelenskyy also urged the UN to establish an international tribunal to investigate Russia’s action in Ukraine.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said warplanes fired missiles at a nearby depot containing Western weapons that caught fire. Ukraine officials deny the depot held weapons and say the mall itself was hit by the missile.
Turkey has agreed to withdraw its objection to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, a breakthrough that bolsters the alliance amid Europe’s worst security crisis in decades following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday at a summit in Madrid, hailing the “historic decision.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had voiced opposition to granting the two Nordic countries membership, insisting they change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.
NATO admission a unanimous vote from member states, and after weeks of negotiations it appears to have been achieved. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said Tuesday the three countries’ leaders had signed a joint agreement to break the impasse.
Contributing: The Associated Press
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism