The actions of the Lukashenka regime are inhuman and cynical. We are in solidarity with all allies affected by this situation, said NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg after the meeting with Andrzej Duda. The president announced that he had made a proposal to increase the readiness of NATO forces on the eastern flank.
Andrzej Duda met with Jens Stoltenberg at NATO headquarters in Brussels. After the conversation, they talked to journalists at a joint conference.
– Poland is a committed NATO member, it contributes to our common security in many ways – said Stoltenberg. He also stressed that Poland is a leader when it comes to defense spending. As he said, he had “a very good discussion” with President Andrzej Duda on the current security challenges, “including the constant strengthening of Russia’s military presence near Ukraine.”
– We talked about the situation on the border between Poland and Belarus, as well as Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia. All NATO allies have made it clear that they condemn the fact that the Lukashenka regime has been exporting vulnerable innocent people to the NATO border. It’s inhuman and cynical. That is why we show full solidarity with all allies affected by this situation, said NATO Secretary General.
WATCH TVN24 ON THE INTERNET ON TVN24 GO
Stoltenberg: we are calling on Russia to de-escalate
Stoltenberg reported at a press conference that at a meeting with President Duda, they discussed, among other things, increasing the Russian military presence near the border with Ukraine. “We see a large and unusual concentration of forces combined with aggressive rhetoric as well as disinformation spread by Moscow,” he added.
“We call on Russia to take steps to increase transparency, reduce tensions and de-escalate,” said NATO’s Secretary General.
– NATO remains vigilant and we continue to support Ukraine, both in political and practical matters. This is not a threat to Russia. NATO helps Ukraine to defend itself against aggression, Stoltenberg stressed.
He announced that NATO foreign ministers would meet in Riga next week to discuss the security situation. They will also meet their counterparts from Ukraine and Georgia. “These are strong signs of our support,” added Stoltenberg.
Duda: I made a proposal to increase the readiness of NATO forces on the eastern flank
Duda said that during the meeting he presented the security situation on the broadly understood eastern flank, also in the context of information on the security of Ukraine. He recalled that there was a relocation of Russian forces around the border with Ukraine. – I assured the secretary general that we take it very seriously what is happening there and we accept all these signals – he said.
– I made a proposal to the Secretary General to increase the readiness of NATO forces in this part of Europe, on the eastern flank, to consider increasing the military presence there, to consider also strengthening the mission, for example the Air Policing mission, all observation missions that patrol this part of the North Atlantic Alliance flank in order to show all potential aggressors that NATO is ready, that we are not only ready to defend NATO countries, but also pay attention to the security of our non-NATO allies with whom we cooperate – he described. Ukraine is such an ally, he said. He assessed that at present the security of this country is in real danger.
Duda: We are ready to repel the attacks
Duda also pointed out that the pressure of migrants on the border has not stopped. – We are afraid that due to this change in the manner of a hybrid attack on the border, from frontal to attack by smaller groups at night, this state may last for even many months – he said.
He assured that “we are always prepared to repel any attacks”. – This service on the border continues all the time. And I assure you that it will continue, we will continue to defend the border of the European Union, we will also continue to defend the border of the North Atlantic Alliance – he argued.
The president also spoke with Stoltenberg last week. At that time, he asked the head of NATO to “pay special attention” to the territory of the Polish-Belarusian border. Stoltenberg then wrote that “Belarus’s use of migrants as a hybrid tactic is unacceptable.” He assured that NATO stands in solidarity with Poland and all allies in the region.
The crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border
There is a crisis at the borders of the European Union and Belarus, since the number of attempts to illegally cross the Belarusian border with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland by migrants from the Middle East, Africa and other regions increased sharply in the spring. The Union and the Member States emphasize that this is the result of the deliberate actions of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime, which instrumentally uses migrants in response to sanctions.
Tvn24.pl report: The crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border
There is a state of emergency in the border area. Journalists are not allowed to work there, so information from there is transmitted almost exclusively through government sources.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / STEPHANIE LECOCQ