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Friday, 5 September 2014

President: NATO summit confirms solidarity in the face of threat

  |   President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit President on Friday at NATO summit

NATO's decisions to strengthen its eastern flank confirm the alliance's solidarity and unity in the face of threat, according to Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.


At its two-day summit ending on Friday, NATO decided to strengthen its military presence in the Eastern European member states and set up "spearhead" rapid reaction forces that could be deployed within 2-5 days in case of threat. See also: "No discord on strengthening NATO eastern flank"


These decisions "open the way to perceptible strengthening of the alliance's eastern flank, which is a response to the new security situation created by Russia's aggressive policies, particularly towards Ukraine," President Bronislaw Komorowski told a press conference on Friday.

"It is also the right response in Poland's view," the president added.


The president said that it confirmed a principle which in reality is the most powerful weapon, namely "the principle of (NATO's) solidarity and unity in the face of threats, in this case in the face of threats eastwards of Poland's borders."


In President Komorowski's opinion, ensuring the continual presence of NATO forces on the alliance's eastern flank is a guarantee of security, also for Poland.


"It is also the principle of an advance presence of commands and allied support forces and logistical infrastructure, namely depots with equipment, fuel and ammunition," Bronislaw Komorowski added.


Forming the spearhead forces means "increasing the entire alliance's readiness for rapid reaction, including assigning forces, probably around 5,000 troops, for immediate reaction," according to Komorowski.


The president added that implementing the NATO plans approved on Friday also means certain tasks for Poland. "If we expect others to be ready, we have to have the capacity to receive the support forces, and we also have to be ready to fulfil our part of the contingency plan," he underlined.

In 2015, 25 percent of Poland's defence budget would be spent on the armed forces' technical modernisation, Komorowski also announced. Increasing defence spending was one of the topics discussed at the NATO summit in Newport.


"With a clear conscience and deep conviction, I could show Poland as a good example. We have political decisions in place that will be turned into legislative decisions ... to increase the defence budget to 2 percent of GDP starting from 2016," the Polish president said.


"Already in 2015 we will reach the level of 25 percent of the defence budget spent on technical modernisation," president Komorowski added, remarking that NATO had suggested 20 percent as the desirable level of spending on armed forces modernisation.


"This is a very important achievement for Poland; I hope it will encourage other countries," the president said.


In connection with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urging 10 allies, including Poland, to form a coalition to battle the Islamic State militants in Iraq, President Komorowski was asked if the expectation towards Poland was a "give and take" option. He replied that "it is how things are in life, it is how things are in politics and in the alliance. There is nothing surprising in this."


Pointing out that Poland had taken part in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the president remarked that "we are now inclined to expect that others will feel themselves to be debtors of Polish security."


"For us, as far as prospective involvement on a greater scale in any other region of the world is concerned, it could simply be easier and more understandable when we feel more secure ourselves on the eastern flank. This is obvious to everyone, not just to us," President Komorowski explained. (PAP)



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