Nato's eastern flank must be stronger, Polish PM tells US vice president

Marcin Obara/PAP

The need to strengthen Nato's eastern flank has become more urgent since Russia invaded Ukraine, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, said before a meeting with visiting US vice president, Kamala Harris.

Harris came to Warsaw to reassure its ally of US support.

"It is very important to strengthen Nato's eastern flank, especially today, in the context of what's happening in Ukraine," the Polish prime minister said when he met the US vice president at the PM's office on Thursday.

"We need to devote some time to and discuss what can be done to help Ukraine retain its sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as their freedom, because they're also fighting for our freedom, they're fighting for the freedom of the whole of Europe," Morawiecki added.

He also thanked Harris for the US decision to impose an embargo on Russian oil and gas, saying the commodities "are driving Russia's war machine."

Harris reiterated the United States' commitment to Poland and other Nato allies and said the US is united with its partners when it comes to Ukraine.

Morawiecki and Harris are going to hold closed-door talks, followed by a meeting of the delegations of both countries.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, attacking its neighbour from three sides with overwhelming military forces. What was likely planned to be a swift military operation aimed to topple the government has turned into a more prolonged conflict, with thousands of casualties on both sides and the number of refugees exceeding two million, most of them heading towards the Polish border.