“We believe that it is necessary to further strengthen NATO’s eastern flank” – said Marcin Przydacz, head of the International Policy Office of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, during a panel devoted to security issues. At the same time, he outlined Poland’s priorities for the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius.
“These decisions to be made in Vilnius will be crucial not only for our region, but also for global security, because the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the war started by Vladimir Putin, is not only a war for territories, it is also a war for the primacy of international law , a war about the values that constitute our world” – said Marcin Przydacz. “We, as an organization of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, must also give a strong political signal to defend this world” – he added.
Referring to Polish expectations towards the NATO summit, the presidential secretary of state stated: “First of all, we believe that it is necessary to further strengthen NATO’s eastern flank. We, as the largest state on NATO’s eastern flank, obviously take a large part of this instability on ourselves, defend integrity and stability Euro-Atlantic region, we also require support from our allies. This has been achieved to a large extent since the Warsaw summit, since 2016 this allied presence in Poland and in the Baltic states has been growing. We will try to make this presence, if not already in terms of personnel, in terms of equipment, it was constantly strengthened over the next few years as part of the continuation of the defense and deterrence policy”.
As a second priority, he mentioned the continuation and strengthening of defense and deterrence policy. “The third priority is a political decision regarding also spending on the defense industry. While in Newport, in Warsaw we confirmed that this 2 percent (GDP – ed.) is a goal that we should all strive for as allies, Poland believes that in order to be able to successfully deter Russia, we must treat 2 percent as a floor, not as a ceiling, as a base for everyone, not only for the countries of NATO’s eastern flank, but for other countries further to the west” – said Przydacz, listing as another priority further adaptation of NATO command systems.
Another priority relates to Ukraine. “Poland is not only in favor of the open door policy, because this open door policy from Bucharest is repeated. We should not just focus on repeating the same words. Specific steps are needed here. The Polish proposal was also reflected in the Prime Minister’s words i.e. upgrading the NATO-Ukraine Commission to the level of the NATO-Ukraine Council, so that Ukraine, not yet an ally, has the right to convene the North Atlantic Council in this formula. This is a prose of Article 4. Ukraine will simply be part of this discussion at the time of danger” – said the secretary of state. “Another very important priority is to move away from this formalized process in favor of a political decision on NATO enlargement. Just like in the case of Finland and Sweden, whose accession to NATO was supported by Poland, it is obvious that this should be a political decision in the case of Ukraine. When this geopolitical window opens, Ukraine should simply be accepted on the basis of a political decision, not fulfilling further obligations in the field of MAP (Membership Action Plan – ed.)” – he added.
Przydacz also reminded that “NATO as an organization is not a part of this conflict, nor does it want to be a part of this conflict”. “Ukraine is supported by a coalition of volunteers, to which Poland not only signed up, but also persuaded others to create this type of cooperation. There is a Rammstein format, where certain decisions regarding military support are made” – he noted.
“We are accelerating our actions when it comes to persuading these partners, who are a little further away geographically, to provide more military support to Ukraine. In order for Ukraine to defend the world order, to defend its sovereignty, it simply needs military support and many of these initiatives were initiated by the voice of Poland” – said Przydacz. He also clearly defined what he expects from foreign partners.
“It cannot be that the countries of NATO’s eastern flank, which also have their obligations towards the entire Euro-Atlantic space, should give up their equipment in the first place, and others, a bit ‘stowaway’, should consider that this situation does not apply to them” – he said, indicating Russia is the biggest threat today. “Let me remind you once again: all NATO allies agreed at the Madrid summit, calling Russia a direct threat to NATO, so the entire NATO, all its members, have an obligation to respond to this situation in a sense” – he said. “We will, of course, encourage this as part of the Rammstein format” – announced Przydacz.
“Poland will support Ukraine, but above all it must think about its own obligations within NATO and its own security. This is an obvious, most important problem for us, for the presidential center” – he declared.