'We waited for decades': Polish govt welcomes US troops
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WARSAW, Poland — Polish leaders welcomed U.S. troops to their country Saturday, with the
The ceremony in the western Polish town of Zagan comes some 23 years after the last Soviet troops left Poland. It marks a new historic moment — the first time Western forces are being deployed on a continuous basis to NATO's eastern flank. The move has infuriated Moscow.
"We have waited for you for a very long time,"
The American deployment includes an
Those actions have frightened many in Poland, the Baltic states and other countries in Eastern Europe that were once under Moscow's control.
The Polish government organized several other events across the country, including in downtown Warsaw, to welcome the Americans.
"This is an important day for Poland, for Europe, for our common
The troops are due to fan out across seven countries from Estonia to Bulgaria for exercises. A headquarters unit will be stationed in Germany. After nine months they will be replaced by another unit.
NATO will also deploy four multinational battalions to its eastern flank later this year, one each to Poland and the three Baltic states. The U.S. will also lead one of those battalions.
The Kremlin has denounced all these deployments, saying it considers them a threat to its own security and interests.