Polish Toledo

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Sunday, August 02, 2015

More NATO Troops Wanted

President Elect Duda
Andrzej Duda, who takes office next week as Poland's newly elected President, says his top priority is to have NATO troops and armaments permanently stationed in Poland as a safety guarantee.

His remarks to state operated TVP television suggest he will continue Poland's current pro-Western policy and ties within NATO, especially in the face of the conflict in neighboring Ukraine between government troops and Russia-backed separatists. his position was significant because Duda comes from the euro-skeptic opposition Law and Justice party, which vows to stand up for Poland's interests internationally if it wins Oct. 25 general parliamentary elections.

Duda also said that he would like next year's NATO summit in Poland to approve a permanent placement of NATO troops and armaments in Poland.  "The expectation is to have this [NATO] presence strengthened because it is one of the guarantees of our safety,'' Duda said.

He goal is also to upgrade the Polish army to a level that will "require respect.''

250 tanks and armored vehicles pledged by US


Earlier this year, it was announced the U.S. will place 250 tanks and armored vehicles in Poland and some other regional NATO members that feel at risk from Russia. But, given that Obama cancelled a missile defense shield approved by the Bush administration, Duda may have to wait until America's presidential election in 2016 to feel comfortable with western commitments.

On domestic issues, Duda said his presidency will be "dynamic'' and he will travel and meet people to hear their problems, just like he did it in his successful campaign.Duda's concern for those who feel they've been left out of Poland's economic boom is believed to be the main reason for his presidential victory.

In his first decisions, Duda said, he will seek to reverse a recent retirement age increase and give the poorest new tax exemptions.

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