Poland shows wisdom of NATO enlargement - head of lawmakers' assembly
Paolo Alli, the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, told its Spring Session in Warsaw on Monday, that having joined NATO shortly after the end of the Cold War, Poland "is a perfect example of the wisdom of the alliance's open door policy."
Alli also noted that this is the third time NATO lawmakers are meeting in Poland, since the country's inclusion in the alliance in 1999.
The official emphasised that Poland was "the first wave of NATO's expansion after the end of the Cold War, and represents a perfect example of the wisdom of the alliance's open door policy."
As the assembly president pointed out, Poland "has constantly participated in the alliance's major operations, has had a significant contingent in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and has been part of an international coalition against Daesh (as the Islamic State is known throughout the Middle East - PAP)."
Moreover, NATO's anti-ballistic defence is partly stationed in Poland, the country is involved in the Baltic Air Policing mission and spends 2 percent of its GDP on defence, Alli added.
The official pointed out that one of key Polish interests "concerns the aggression and revisionist policy of its eastern neighbour."
"Russia has abandoned the language of reason and cooperation and replaced it with power and intimidation," Alli added, "I believe that NATO's strong and quick reaction to these actions has taken Russia by surprise."
Namely, the alliance has strengthened its eastern side, by deploying international battalions in Poland and the Baltic states, "which is a very clear demonstration of the North Atlantic Alliance's solidarity with Poland," the assembly president said.
He added this shows NATO states are "prepared to defend" Poland as the alliance's eastern flank, and the summit in Brussels in July will provide the bloc with an opportunity to take further steps in relation to present challenges.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly's Spring Session opened at the Polish parliament building on Friday. It is attended by parliamentarians from NATO member states and associated countries, as well as observers, and will conclude on Monday.