Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak wants a permanent U.S. presence in his country to balance against Russian aggression and has already had talks with American officials about establishing a base there.

The Poles are even willing to pay up to $2 billion dollars to help build the base and needed infrastructure for a permanent U.S. base there.

Blaszczak said he had the talks recently in Washington that were prompted by security concerns following Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and its support for pro-Russia separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine.

“The result of our efforts is that the U.S. Senate has contacted the Pentagon about an assessment of…[the] permanent presence of U.S. troops in Poland,” Blaszczak said on state Radio 1. “Such presence is of great importance because it deters the adversary.”

Poland currently hosts a contingent of U.S. troops on a rotational, temporary, but open-ended mission.

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that an increase in NATO’s military presence near Russia’s borders “certainly does not contribute to security and stability on the continent in any way.”

“These expansionist steps, certainly, result in counteractions of the Russian side to balance the parity which is violated every time this way,” Peskov told Russia’s state-run TASS news agency on May 28.

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Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy head of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said that “Poland becomes the object of a retaliatory strike by placing the base.” Dzhabarov, added that this “makes Poland one of the main targets in case of a possible conflict.”

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Photo courtesy Wikipedia