U.S. soldiers attend the opening ceremony for a military exercise in Lithuania last week. (Mindaugas Kulbis / AP)

In yet another dramatic break from the post-Cold War detente between Russia and the U.S.-led West, the U.S. and Poland are in talks over the deployment of heavy weapons in Eastern Europe in response to alleged Russian expansionism.

The Guardian reports:

The Polish defence ministry said on Sunday that Washington and Warsaw were in negotiations about the permanent stationing of US battle tanks and other heavy weaponry in Poland and other countries in the region as part of Nato’s plans to develop rapid deployment “Spearhead” forces aimed at deterring Kremlin attempts to destabilise former Soviet bloc countries now entrenched inside Nato and the EU.

Tomasz Siemoniak, the Polish defence minister, had talks on the issue at the Pentagon last month. Warsaw said on Sunday that a decision whether to station heavy US equipment at warehouses in Poland would be taken soon.

Nato’s former supreme commander in Europe, the American admiral James Stavridis, said the decision marked “a very meaningful policy shift,” amid eastern European complaints that western Europe and the US were lukewarm about security guarantees for countries on the frontline with Russia following Vladimir Putin’s seizure of parts of Ukraine.

“It provides a reasonable level of reassurance to jittery allies, although nothing is as good as troops stationed full time on the ground, of course,” the retired admiral told the New York Times.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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