The US military is planning to cut down trees in Poland on an area of 38 hectares for the construction of new objects in the territory of the Povidz aviation base. According to the documentation for the project, which RT has familiarized with, work is supposed to be carried out on the territory of forests under the protection of the European project Natura 2000, the purpose of which is to preserve rare species of animals and their habitat. The Polish authorities specifically lifted the ban on the destruction of bird nests, since, in their opinion, “public safety”, for which supposedly the new complex is being built, is much more important than the protection of rare birds. Why Poland is ready to go for the destruction of its natural resources for the sake of “expanding the capabilities of the US Armed Forces in Europe” – in the material RT.
The engineering corps of the US Army in Europe in September published a tender for deforestation in Poland. According to the documentation for the project, which RT has familiarized with, the forest will be cut down on the territory adjacent to the Povidz air base for the construction of new military facilities.
“The US engineering troops in Europe cooperate with the Polish Ministry of Defense, and the NATO Investment Committee approved deforestation in the territory of the host country. Relevant work is planned to be carried out in Poland, in the area of the Powidz airbase, on a wooded area of 38.18 hectares, ”the tender documentation says.
For comparison: 38 hectares is an area the size of 53 football fields. As reported in the documentation for the tender, the Pentagon plans to build a complex for the storage of pre-established stocks and maintenance.
The project involves deforestation, under the protection of the European project Natura 2000. The document itself also states that tree felling under this program is prohibited, but the US Department of Defense will make an exception for the contract implementers.
In particular, to implement the project, the head of the regional environmental protection agency in Poznan lifted a ban on the destruction of bird nests.
Moreover, the document notes that “public security”, for which a new complex is supposedly being built, is much more important than the protection of rare birds and habitats.
“The above key public interests include the previously mentioned public safety, the protection of which should be considered a higher priority than the original goal of protecting nature in the Natura 2000 coverage area,” the document stresses.
According to the website of the European Commission, the Natura 2000 project includes a number of areas, among which there are specially protected nature reserves, inhabited by rare and endangered species of animals and birds.
The goal of the project is to conserve rare species of animals and their habitats. The website of the European Commission states that EU member states should ensure the sustainable environmental and economic development of these territories.
The Poles will stop at nothing”
The European Union may protest to Poland in connection with deforestation on the protected area, Oksana Petrovskaya, a doctor of historical sciences, suggested in an interview with RT.
“The EU may well be followed by a protest, but this does not mean that the Poles will adequately respond to it, judging by the way relations with the European Union are being built. The current government is tasked with reforming the EU as a whole, they will pursue their own, ”the expert said.
Petrovskaya also stressed that it was not the first time that Warsaw came to conflict with Brussels on environmental issues.
“In this case, the Poles will stop at nothing, since the European environmental programs, of course, are taken into account by the Polish authorities, but are often ignored. It is enough to recall the logging of Belovezhskaya Pushcha , which the former Minister Shishko (Jan Shishko. – RT ) actively covered. The conflict between Poland and the European Union is growing, and the Poles see their backs precisely in connection with America and American troops – and, most importantly, with the US presence in Poland, ”the expert noted.
Recall that in April of this year, the European Court ruled that Warsaw had violated EU legislation on environmental protection when it allowed large-scale deforestation in the Bialowieza Forest. According to the decision of the judge, cutting down trees threatens rare species of animals, birds and insects. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is the largest primeval forest in Europe.
The United States has also repeatedly placed its own interests above environmental protection. So, in June last year, US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement , explaining this decision by saying that meeting the requirements to combat global warming is unprofitable for the American economy.
The decision of the White House has caused criticism from a number of world leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed regret over the decision of the US administration. French President Emmanuel Macron announced the cancellation of negotiations with the United States over the new agreements under the agreement.
At the same time, the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, noted that the exit of the United States would have a negative impact on the ecology of the planet, since it is the United States that occupies a leading position in terms of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
“To empower the United States”
The tender documentation states that the construction of new facilities near the Powidz military base is aimed at expanding the capabilities of the American army in the region.
According to the head of the department of geography, environmental management and spatial development of the Baltic Federal University. Immanuel Kant Yuri Zverev, a base in Poland will help the US and NATO to quickly transfer forces to the east of Europe.
“Since September 2016, Americans are collecting weapons and equipment of armored divisions in warehouses in Europe. Warehouses mainly in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. The point is that heavy equipment is deployed in advance in Europe. If it is necessary to quickly transfer an armored division within Europe, then only personnel are transferred by air with light weapons. There can be placed weapons and equipment of the American armored brigade group or NATO, ”the expert stressed.
In the tender itself, the construction of new facilities is explained by the need to protect “key public interests”.
“Planned activities relating to national defense, including changing the place of deployment of the US Armed Forces, are carried out in order to protect key public interests,” the tender documentation says.
According to the US military budget for 2019, the Pentagon allocated $ 140 million for the construction of objects and land acquisition in Poland. In particular, $ 87 million will be spent on work in the area of the Powidz military base.
The same document explicitly states that the US Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State must provide a report on the possibility and desirability of deploying troops in Poland on an ongoing basis, including “an analysis of the types of US troops based on a permanent basis in Poland necessary to deter aggression from the Russian Federation “.
The joint project of Poland and the United States to expand the military base Povidz is part of the European Reinsurance Initiative (European Reassurance Initiative), which was launched in 2014 by the administration of former US President Barack Obama after the reunification of the Crimea with Russia.
The initiative is aimed at strengthening the presence of the United States Armed Forces in Europe as a “counter to the provocative armed actions of Russia in Ukraine”, as well as assistance to countries potentially exposed to the “Russian threat”.
Earlier, during the September visit to the United States, Polish leader Andrzej Duda confirmed Poland’s willingness to pay more than $ 2 billion to deploy another American military base on its territory. According to Duda, such measures are capable of “deterring any potential aggressor.”
In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry notes that the creation of a US base in Poland will be considered a violation of the fundamental Russia-NATO act.
“It all depends on the size of the contingent. But this can be a very serious violation of the fundamental ones (the fundamental act of Russia – NATO. – RT ). So far, no decisions have been made, but we are warning both the alliance, and the United States, and Poland, ” said Andrei Kelin, director of the department of pan-European cooperation at the Russian Foreign Ministry in September .
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov also noted that the deployment of the US base in Poland would entail counter-actions from Russia.
“In general, when we fix the gradual expansion of the military structure of NATO towards our borders, the direct approach of the military structure of NATO to our borders, this, of course, in no way contributes to security and stability on the continent, on the contrary, these expansionist actions are, of course , inevitably lead to counter-actions from the Russian side in order to balance the parity that is violated each time in this way, ”noted Sands in May.