Jun 21, 2022 - World

Europe can't defend itself without U.S., Polish foreign minister says

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau. Photo: Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Amid Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau told a meeting of Polish ambassadors Tuesday that the continent's current security crisis shows that Europe couldn't defend itself without the U.S.

Driving the news: Rau told the ambassadors that Poland sees U.S. engagement in European security as a "fundamental condition of peace in Europe," per state news agency Pap, AP reported.

What they're saying: “The current crisis clearly shows that without the United States, Europe cannot defend itself,” he added.

  • Rau said that although he was grateful to the U.S., the latter shouldn't have to bear “all the responsibility,” which also “rests on the shoulders” of European allies, per AP.

The big picture: Rau said that it was U.S. leadership in NATO that was instrumental in bringing about a “rapid and effective adaptation to the Russian threat in 2016," referring to NATO's decision to bolster its presence along its eastern border in response to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, per AP.

  • The number of U.S. troops deployed in Europe skyrocketed to 100,000 in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, with 10,500 U.S. service members stationed in Poland.
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