Germany ‘willing to defend CEE’: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: PAP/Adam Guz

Chancellor Angela Merkel has assured that Poland could count on Germany’s military support if Trump “changes his mind” about the stationing US army in the region following a forthcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland.

In a weekly radio address to the German people, Chancellor Merkel said that “the challenges for NATO have changed drastically in recent years,” and that it is important “to focus more on defending the [NATO] alliance.”

“To do that we [must] make necessary arrangements, for example through a presence in Central and Eastern European countries,” she added.

Chancellor Merkel explained that Germany is ready to send more forces to Lithuania, and to set up bases in Poland. Germany has sent about 500 soldiers to be stationed in NATO bases in Lithuania.

However, Poland and Germany cooperate mostly between the countries’ armored forces near Szczecin, on their common border.

Currently, there are nearly 3,000 NATO soldiers stationed in Poland, most of them are US and British soldiers.

US President Trump is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, in order to soothe tensions between the United States and Russia.