Coronavirus impacted politics, military, economy - Polish MoD

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on politics, the economy and the military, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said in a pre-recorded video screened on the second day of a Washington-based think-tank's conference on Tuesday.

Blaszczak's address was screened early on the second day of the CEPA Forum organised by the Washington-based Center for European Policy Analysis. Due to the pandemic, the conference was held online this year.

"Despite the fact that the crisis is medical in nature, it has significantly impacted the area of politics, the military and the economy," the defence minister said, stressing the need for NATO and regional cooperation in this respect.

Poland has increased regional cooperation with its three other partners within the Visegrad Group, that is, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, Blaszczak said. "V4 unity, with its contribution to NATO and EU initiatives, is even more crucial today than ever," he said.

In terms of military cooperation within the V4, Poland's aim "remains unchanged," the minister said. "It means better interoperability and joint capabilities which can be used within NATO or the EU."

"The US presence in Europe, and in particular on the eastern flank, is a key factor for the security of Central Europe and the whole trans-Atlantic area," Blaszczak argued. "We should maintain, and even strengthen this presence over the coming decade," he added.

According to the Polish defence minister, "the US political leadership and meaningful military contribution have been and will be decisive for the deterrence and defence against the Russian threat."

In his address, Blaszczak expressed Poland's satisfaction with the US support for the regional Three Seas Initiative that aims to develop infrastructure in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.