Polish PM says NATO needs larger presence in eastern Europe

BRATISLAVA Thu May 15, 2014 4:09am EDT

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk addresses to media after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Warsaw March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk addresses to media after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Warsaw March 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

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BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - NATO needs to have a larger presence in eastern Europe in light of the crisis in Ukraine, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Thursday.

"If there is no readiness for a greater NATO presence in bordering countries of the European Union, it will mean NATO solidarity is only declarative," Tusk said at a security conference in the Slovak capital.

"The NATO presence, meaning infrastructure and specific units, should be greater in Baltic countries, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria - meaning where we have a border with an unstable region."

The alliance's top military commander said earlier this month that NATO would have to consider permanently stationing troops in parts of eastern Europe as a result of the increased tension between Russia and Ukraine.

(Reporting by Jakub Iglewski and Jan Lopatka; Writing by Jason Hovet; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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