“The Warsaw summit is of breakthrough significance. Our message to NATO from the very beginning was clear: in the face of the changing situation in the security environment in our part of the world, in Central and Eastern Europe it is necessary to strengthen the presence and potential of NATO,” President Andrzej Duda has said an interview ahead of a Warsaw summit of the military alliance. “We have said from the outset that there is a need to strengthen the Baltic states and strengthen Poland in these terms through the presence of NATO forces in nations in Central and Eastern Europe.”
Asked if four battalions of a thousand soldiers each in Poland and the Baltic countries would be enough to deter Russia, Duda said: “This is above all a clear signal what the intentions of the Alliance are. “It is above all a clear signal that the Alliance is tightly-knit, that the Alliance is effective, that the Alliance is able to make decisions and, above all, that it is cohesive, it is together, that it shows solidarity, that we are reacting to what is happening…
“One thing is the most important: that anyone who carries out an act of aggression on a country in which there are NATO troops will at the same time be carrying out an act of aggression on all countries.”
“The security situation in Europe has significantly deteriorated,” Mrs Angela Merkel told the German parliament. “Russia’s actions have deeply disturbed our eastern allies. They therefore require clear reassurance from the alliance.” NATO is expected to approve plans to send four combat battalions of around 1,000 troops to each of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia at the Warsaw summit. “If international law and the basic principle of the inviolability of borders are put in question by word and deed, then of course trust is lost,” Mrs Merkel said.
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Allied leaders will take key decisions to strengthen the Alliance’s defence and deterrence and project stability beyond NATO’s borders.
Since the Alliance’s last summit in September 2014 in Wales, NATO has implemented the biggest reinforcement of its collective defence since the Cold War. “We delivered a faster, a stronger, and a more ready Alliance”, Mr Stoltenberg told a press conference at NATO headquarters. “We now need to take the next steps. So at our Summit in Warsaw, we will agree to further enhance our military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance.”
The Secretary General said that Allied leaders will agree to deploy four robust, multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Further efforts to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence and defence include a tailored presence in the south-east, based on a multinational brigade in Romania and steps to improve cyber-defence, civil preparedness and the ability to defend against ballistic missile attacks.
The US wants other members in the alliance to share the burden of military spending. NATO wants its members to try to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Many members will want to revise this system in Warsaw as it does not reflect the contribution of each country
Mr Stoltenberg said preparations for holding another meeting of the NATO-Russia Council shortly after the Warsaw Summit are ongoing. “We remain open to dialogue with Russia. The NATO-Russia Council has an important role to play as a forum for dialogue and information exchange, to reduce tensions and increase predictability,” Stoltenberg said.
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