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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Presidents Komorowski and Ilves discuss Ukraine and Air Policing


Ukraine and NATO's Air Policing programme stood in the centre of Tuesday talks in Warsaw between Estonian and Polish Presidents Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Bronislaw Komorowski.


Bronislaw Komorowski said after the meeting that his talks with Ilves focused on the situation in Ukraine and its Crimean Peninsula, especially Russian operations in Ukraine.


"Our talks showed that we share a common concern about the development of events in Ukraine, and a common determination in encouraging the EU and US to strongly counteract and oppose any attempts by Russia to extend its to-date operation mode under violation of international law", Bronislaw Komorowski said.


President Komorowski stressed that Ilves and himself saw the events in Crimea as part of a bigger and more serious problem connected with Russian leader Vladimir Putin's aim to found a Euro-Asian Union as a counterweight to the western alliance. He also noted that the Ukrainian situation called for consideration of the NATO Treaty's article 5 on the defence of threatened Alliance members at the forthcoming NATO summit in Wales.


"We also place our hopes in the North Atlantic Alliance and absolutely share a common stand regarding the conclusions the Alliance should draw in face of what is developing east of its frontier. We especially mean the approaching NATO summit in Wales, where our countries will present a similar or identical stand regarding (...) the concentration of the North Atlantic Alliance around tasks related to article 5 of the Washington Treaty on the territorial defence of the member states, of course including Estonia and Poland", the Polish president stated.


President Komorowski also reminded that in May Poland will be carrying out NATO's Baltic Air Policing flights over the Baltic states and voiced hope that this would prove to be "a sign of our joint determination to ensure safety in our region".


Ilves reminded that according to article 5 an attack on one NATO state was an attack on the entire Alliance and said that he and Komorowski were sure the article will be a major topic at the Wales summit.


Ilves stressed that Poland and Estonia had the same view of Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea and security in their region. In this context he called Poland "a regional leader" and said that in light of the current situation Poland and Estonia should remain "as close as possible". (PAP)

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