FM appeals for "strong Nato signal" against Russian aggression

Poland's foreign minister appealed for a "strong Nato signal" against Russia's aggressive policy towards its neighbours, most recently Ukraine. Toms Kalnins/PAP/EPA

Poland's foreign minister appealed at a meeting of Nato foreign ministers in Riga for a "strong Nato signal" against Russia's aggressive policy towards its neighbours, most recently Ukraine, the Polish Foreign Ministry reported on Wednesday.

The Wednesday-concluded meeting mainly discussed Russia's military activity on its border with Ukraine and the migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. Attending the debates was Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The ministry said one of the meeting's main themes concerned security threats to Nato and the Euroatlantic area due to Russia's power policy towards Ukraine and the migrant crisis between Poland and Belarus.

Recounting the meeting, ministry spokesperson Lukasz Jasina said that the foreign minister, Zbigniew Rau, had emphasised the need for Nato to send out "a strong and clear signal" against all acts of aggression, and declare itself ready to protect its members agains such acts with adequate deterrence and defence means.

The ministers also underlined the need for unity among the Nato members in response to Russia's aggressive stance.

Also discussed were the situation in Afghanistan and the Western Balkans, Nato's Strategic Conception and next year's Nato summit in Madrid.

At a press conference after the meeting, Stoltenberg accused Russia of aggression (on Ukraine - PAP) and gave his assurance that Nato supported Ukraine's ambitions to join the Alliance.

Referring to Russia's fears of Ukraine becoming a Nato member, Stoltenberg stressed that Russia had no say in the matter as decisions regarding the accession procedure belonged solely to Nato and Ukraine.

He also announced serious political and economic consequences for Russia if it continued its aggressive stance towards Ukraine.