Foreign minister praises speech of NATO secretary general

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg was the first leader of an international organisation who was granted the honour of giving a speech at a joint session of the US Congress. /PAP/EPA

Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, who attended a ministerial session on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of NATO, positively evaluated the speech delivered by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a joint session of US Congress on Wednesday.

Minister Czaputowicz told Polish media correspondents that NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg was the first leader of an international organisation who was granted the honour of giving a speech at a joint session of the US Congress.

"It was a very good speech, highlighting the fact that NATO is important not only for Europe, but also for the United States," Czaputowicz noted. He also emphasised that Poland shares Stoltenberg's assessment of the threat posed by Russia.

According to Czaputowicz, the NATO secretary general also mentioned the United States' decision to suspend compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia, signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987 in a bid to reduce tension between the two post-war adversaries and take a step towards nuclear disarmament.

"The mere suspension of the treaty (INF - PAP), or the withdrawal of the United States, will cause it to stop working, but we see who is responsible for that - Russia, which has already broken, and, is breaking this treaty now. The Secretary General (of NATO - PAP) mentioned this and said there must be a definite response from the alliance," Czaputowicz remarked, adding that this matter is certainly not related to the presence of American troops in Poland.

The challenges facing NATO were on the agenda of the North Atlantic Council's Thursday session.

On the first day of meetings of foreign ministers of the 29 NATO member states, minister Czaputowicz took part in sessions devoted to the future of NATO, organised by private political science groups, including the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He also attended a joint conference organised by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, together with other consultancy centers.

On Wednesday evening, local time, Minister Czaputowicz and the other 28 foreign ministers were guests at a reception, hosted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which marked the occasion of the 70th anniversary of NATO. The banquet was organised at the headquarters of the State Department, in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, where the North Atlantic Treaty which established NATO was signed, on April 4, 1949.