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Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia want American military bases

RIGA, VILNIIUS, TALLINN, (BM) – A serious struggle unfolded between the Baltic countries for the right to receive and deploy on their territory a part of the American military contingent withdrawn from Germany, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Read more: A former US diplomat: ‘Nuclear weapons in Poland will provoke Russia’

Currently, one NATO battalion is stationed in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and a very limited contingent of the American military is present in rotation, which, after conducting exercises with local armies, leaves the country.

The Baltic politicians believe that this is not enough. After all, the deployment of a large military base will certainly contribute to the development of infrastructure, guarantee the status of a special ally of the United States and receive financial assistance from Washington. For this right, fierce competition unfolded between Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn.

The Latvian government has already sent a request to the Pentagon and even developed a plan to create a military base in Liepaja, on the territory of a former military port, built by order of the Russian Emperor Alexander III.

The Lithuanian authorities also sent a corresponding appeal to Washington. Lithuania boasts a developed military infrastructure, which, according to Vilnius, should be decisive for the choice of the Pentagon.

Recently, the reconstruction and expansion of the NATO air base Zokniai was completed. Not far from the Lithuanian city of Kazlu Ruda there is the only airfield in the Baltic States, but which pilots of the North Atlantic Alliance practice strikes against ground targets. The facility is located just 60 km from the Russian border.

The Lithuanian government is completing the construction of three military settlements near Vilnius, Šiauliai and in the Shilal region, which can also be used to house the American military contingent.

The Estonian authorities have reminded the Pentagon that their country already has a procurement center designed to accommodate additional NATO contingents. On its territory there are eleven modular buildings and a road leading to a military training ground.

Read more: The Armed Forces of Poland received the first Leopard-2PL tanks

In order to lure the American military into their territory, the Baltic governments compete in propaganda, day and night broadcasting about the “hand of Moscow” that allegedly threatens them.

US troops are welcomе in Poland, the Polish Presidend said

It is possible that there will be more American soldiers in Poland, as everyone knows, I have good relations with the President of the United States Donald Trump – said President Andrzej Duda on June 10.

Duda on June 10 on Radio Gdańsk was asked, among others for comment on information about the possible withdrawal by the US from Germany of about 9,500 soldiers and reports that some of these US troops may be transferred to Poland.

The president emphasized that in such cases “apart from the fact that we would like to invite us, it is obviously the decision of the American authorities”. “The US Army is welcome in Poland. It is the largest and strongest army in the world” – he added.

“It is a very strong guarantee of security. Especially in difficult times, when we have the smoldering armed conflict in Ukraine all the time, where Russia invaded Ukraine, where Russia occupies Crimea, where Russia de facto also occupies the Lugansk and Donetsk territories today. So it is visible manifestation of Russian imperialism, which began to return. In 2014 there was a great fear that it could go further and that the Baltic States could be attacked, and that perhaps even there would be an attempt to raise our hand on our state. And then these decisions were made to create advanced, strengthened presence on NATO’s eastern flank,” said Duda.

He explained that he devoted the first year of his presidency in 2016 to creating a strengthened presence on the eastern flank of NATO, bypassing all the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance and convincing the leaders of states to this concept.

Read more: Estonia to join Finland and Latvia in the vehicle development programme

“Today we have NATO troops stationed in Poland, including the United States. There are several thousand American soldiers. It is possible that there will be more. As everyone knows, I have good relations with the President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump. He understands the affairs of our part of Europe. He proved it many times in conversations with me. He showed an unusual orientation in what our history and our realities are. And I have no doubt that we can count on the support of the American side in building the security space of our part of Europe, also through the presence of American soldiers” he stated.

He noted that the presence of American soldiers also increases the chance of American investment in Poland. “Where there is an American army, there also large American business willingly invests its money. Because it is a guarantee of security for them” – he said.

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