May 15, 2014 / 8:14 AM / in 3 years

Polish PM says NATO needs larger presence in eastern Europe

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - NATO needs to have a larger presence in eastern Europe in light of the crisis in Ukraine, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Thursday.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk addresses to media after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Warsaw March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

“If there is no readiness for a greater NATO presence in bordering countries of the European Union, it will mean NATO solidarity is only declarative,” Tusk said at a security conference in the Slovak capital.

“The NATO presence, meaning infrastructure and specific units, should be greater in Baltic countries, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria - meaning where we have a border with an unstable region.”

The alliance’s top military commander said earlier this month that NATO would have to consider permanently stationing troops in parts of eastern Europe as a result of the increased tension between Russia and Ukraine.

Reporting by Jakub Iglewski and Jan Lopatka; Writing by Jason Hovet; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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