Duda lays out priorities ahead of NATO summitReading Time: 2 minutes
Polish President Andrzej Duda outlined five key areas for action for NATO on Tuesday, after international consultations in The Hague, The Netherlands, ahead of the upcoming summit of the alliance in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 11-12 July.
To help prepare for next week’s summit, Duda met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and premiers from six other NATO member countries: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Duda on Poland’s ‘historic investments’
Duda said the five key points should be increasing NATO’s deterrence and defence posture, upping defence expenditure, support for Sweden’s accession, ensuring assistance to Ukraine in its bid to join NATO, and developing a long-term approach to responding to political and economic threats from Russia.
“We all know it will be a crucial NATO summit, bearing in mind the security situation in Europe after Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” Duda told a joint press conference.
He said “Over the last 16 months, Poland has taken concrete steps to increase its security,” highlighting that Warsaw has made “historic investments” in infrastructure, technology, and defensive capacity.
“In addition, we have enhanced our engagement and relations with allies and partners from the whole world,” Duda said, adding that NATO members are working “toward a more secure and content Europe”.
NATO vows to defend ‘every ally, every inch’
In response to the news that Russia’s Wagner mercenary troops will move to Belarus under a deal negotiated by President Alexander Lukashenko, Nauseda said: “if Wagner deploys its serial killers in Belarus, all neighbouring countries face an even bigger danger of instability.”
Stoltenberg said the alliance is ready to defend itself against any threat: “We have sent a clear message to Moscow and Minsk that NATO is there to protect every ally, every inch of NATO territory.
“We have already increased our military presence in the eastern part of the alliance and we will make further decisions to further strengthen our collective defence with more high-readiness forces and more capabilities at the upcoming summit,” the NATO chief added.