NATO fully operational during coronavirus crisis - Polish FM

Jacek Bednarczyk/PAP

In the event of a threat, NATO is fully capable of acting, Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said after a videoconference with the heads of the foreign ministries of NATO countries held on Thursday.

The subjects of Thursday's conference between the NATO ministers and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg included the crisis caused by the global coronavirus pandemic and Russia's activities in Ukraine. After the meeting Stoltenberg said the anti-epidemic operation coordinator would be NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Tod. D. Wolters.

Czaputowicz told journalists after the conference that despite the coronavirus pandemic, the military capabilities of NATO were being maintained and that the Alliance also had civil planning instruments that could be used to support the actions of each member state.

He also said that another aim of Thursday's meeting was to show the unity and solidarity of the entire NATO bloc, especially with the countries most affected by the current epidemic. He added that the member states represented by the NATO ministers had declared their readiness to fulfill their treaty obligations, including the implementation of a collective defence. "In the event of a threat, NATO is capable of acting," Czaputowicz said.

Czaputowicz also said that the crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic was being taken advantage of by Russia, and that this was also the subject of discussions.

Russia's disinformation activity is very clear and it is of a propaganda nature, which worries the members of the Alliance, according to the Polish official. "An example can be the use of disinformation against our country. You may recall the information that Polish authorities had blocked the possibility of flights of Russian assistance to Italy over our country, which proved to be completely untrue," he said.

Poland's foreign minister also said there is the need to maintain close transatlantic cooperation during the current crisis. He added that Poland was working to maintain transatlantic unity and solidarity, and US military involvement in Europe.

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