Prime Minister Beata Szydło: Poland is and will be an active, loyal member of the debate on the future of NATO

The common interest of all allies is to keep the Alliance united, efficient and ready to act in the face of threats from different sides and from different sources – said Prime Minister Beata Szydło at the joint press conference with NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

1 of 8
Photo: P. Tracz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Today, the Head of the Government informed that the main topic of the talks was to prepare NATO to new threats. They also discussed the issues of security in our region and the priorities under the North Atlantic Treaty for the coming months.

Priorities for Poland

The events around our borders, especially the upcoming Russian-Belarusian manoeuvres Zapad ‘17 and the threats related to terrorism and instability in the Middle East and North Africa show that as the Alliance we should continue the adaptation process started in Newport and Warsaw – stressed the Head of the Government.

As she pointed out, in this context the priority for Poland would be preparations for the next year’s NATO Summit in Brussels and the strengthening of allied deterrence and defence.

Poland’s commitment to the Treaty’s activities

Prime Minister Beata Szydło announced that with satisfaction she noted the deployment of the allied forces in our country and in the Baltic States. However, we are not passive in building security within the Alliance. Together with other states, we participate in the Battlegroup in Latvia and Romania. We spend the required 2% of GDP on defence purposes – pointed out Prime Minister.

She stressed that the draft act guaranteeing that by 2030 we would spend 2.5% of GDP on defence purposes had already been submitted to the Sejm. We are committed to the Alliance’s activities in the South, as well as we participate in a coalition to fight against the so-called Islamic State, are present in Afghanistan and conduct training activities in Iraq – stressed Beata Szydło.

Preparations for another NATO Summit

I want to confirm that Poland is and will be an active and loyal member of the debate on the future of the Alliance during the preparations for the next year’s NATO Summit – said the Head of the Government.

The Prime Minister also thanked the Secretary General of NATO for his visit to Poland and his commitment to building the security of the transatlantic community. She expressed her hope for further successful cooperation and reminded of the importance of the Summit held the previous year in Warsaw for Poland.

The decisions made back then are essential to the security of our country, to the security of the region, and in our opinion, to the peace in Europe – pointed out Beata Szydło.

Jens Stoltenberg: Poland sets a good example 

Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg stressed that Poland set a good example when it came to the expenses for defence by spending 2% of GDP on this purpose. I am happy to hear about the Polish commitment to further increasing the expenses for defence – he stressed.

He reminded that during the NATO Summit held the previous year in Warsaw, decisions had been made regarding the adaptation and changes within the Alliance in response to the ever-changing and increasingly difficult security environment. Following the Summit in Warsaw, we have implemented the highest possible strengthening of our collective defence since the end of the cold war. We tripled the size of the NATO response force, we established a new headquarters in the East of the Alliance and increased our forward enhanced presence in Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – said Stoltenberg.

Predictability and transparency are essential

The Head of NATO also announced that the course of the Zapad ’17 exercises would be carefully observed. He stressed that all countries had the right to conduct exercises of their armed forces, but they should also respect the commitments to transparency. Stoltenberg called on Russia to fulfil its commitments under the OSCE Vienna Document. The predictability and transparency issues are very important, when the military activity along our borders is increased- announced Secretary General of NATO. He added that in this way we were sending a clear signal that an attack on one ally means an attack on the Alliance as a whole. We are here to prevent conflict and not to provoke it noted Stoltenberg.

See also