WORLD NEWS | Thu Apr 13, 2017 | 1:16pm EDT
NATO deploys troops to Poland while concerns about country's army rise
U.S. soldiers attend welcoming ceremony for U.S.-led NATO troops at polygon near Orzysz, Poland, April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
By Lidia Kelly | ORZYSZ, POLAND
Poland on Thursday welcomed the first U.S. troops in a multi-national force which is being posted across the Baltic region to counter potential threats from Russia.
More than 1,100 soldiers -- 900 U.S. troops as well as 150 British and 120 Romanians -- are to be deployed in Orzysz, about 57 km (35 miles) south of Russia's Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad, where Moscow has stationed nuclear-capable missiles and an S-400 air missile defense system.
Three other formations are due to become operational by June across the region.
"Deploying of these troops to Poland is a clear demonstration of NATO's unity and resolve and sends a clear message to any potential aggressor," NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti, said at a welcoming ceremony for the first arrivals at Orzysz, 220 km (140 miles) northeast of the capital Warsaw.
Poland, alarmed by Russia's assertiveness on NATO's eastern flank, has lobbied hard for the stationing of NATO troops on its soil, especially since Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Polish President Andrzej Duda called the deployment a historic moment "awaited for by generations".
READ MORE: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nato-russia-poland-idUSKBN17F290
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