Senate backs bill on ratifying PL–US enhanced def cooperation

The Polish Upper House (Senate) supported the bill authorising the president to ratify the agreement with the US to increase the number of American troops in Poland.

In the vote held on Wednesday evening, 91 senators voted in favour, none was against while three senators abstained.

The act authorising the president to ratify the Polish-American agreement on enhanced defence cooperation was passed by the Sejm on September 17.

The PL-US agreement was signed on August 15 in Warsaw by Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It complements last year's declarations by the presidents of both countries, including an increase in the US military presence in Poland by around 1,000 personnel in addition to around 4,500 already located in the country.

The ratified agreement complements the 1951 NATO SOFA status agreement and sets out in greater detail the status and conditions regulating the stay of US forces, including members of the armed forces and civilian personnel and family members. The annexes to the agreement govern the issues of infrastructural and logistical support provided by Poland. The new agreement will replace the 2009 US Army Status Agreement (SOFA) and the intergovernmental cooperation agreement from July 2015.