Russia expressed concern Thursday about the arrival of U.S. soldiers and tanks in Poland, saying they are a threat to its security.
The first contingent of American soldiers arrived in Poland from Germany Thursday, leading Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to call the operation a threat to Russia’s “interests and our security.”
Eventually the U.S. plans to station more than 3,000 soldiers in Poland, marking the largest troop build-up in the country since the Cold War ended.
The mission, dubbed The Atlantic Resolve, will see the soldiers, along with 87 Abrams tanks and more than 500 vehicles, rotate between Poland and several other nearby NATO countries, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
“This is even more pronounced when a third party reinforces its military presence on our doorstep in Europe,” the Kremlin spokesman told reporters.
The deployment was ordered by the Obama administration in 2014 as a response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.
U.S. soldiers, part of the Armored Brigade Combat Team, crossed the Polish border Thursday at the city of Olszyna and headed for their base in Zagan.
A formal welcome ceremony is planned for Saturday and will be attended by Poland’s top officials.