Poland's position for forthcoming NATO summit debated

The confirmation of Poland's readiness to maintain the dynamics of actions in NATO was one of the subjects debated by a consultative meeting on Friday called by President Andrzej Duda ahead of the forthcoming NATO summit in London on December 3 and 4.

Present at the meeting were Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, Poland's ambassador to NATO, Tomasz Szatkowski, and the head of the President's Office, Krzysztof Szczerski as well as the head of Poland's National Security Bureau, Paweł Soloch.

BBN head Paweł Soloch told reporters after the meeting that it had been convened by the president after his telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Soloch added that one of the goals of the debate was to discuss what could happen during the forthcoming meeting in London.

Soloch declined to speak about the details of the meeting but underlined that the confirmation of Poland's readiness to maintain the dynamics of actions in NATO was one of its subjects.

"We are talking about the forward presence at the alliance's eastern flank and relations with Russia. Above all, we are talking about the maintaining of the allied unity and the point is to make Poland's position help all member states speak with one voice," Soloch said, stressing that all processes launched during the Warsaw summit in 2016 should be maintained and should not lose their dynamics.

In this context, Soloch emphasised the existence of new threats, including not only Russia's aggression on Ukraine but also hybrid and cyber threats and information war.

"The point is to make it possible for the alliance to jointly respond to these threats. And Poland is a country, which plays a positive, integrating role in both direct contacts with the NATO secretary general as well as with particular alliance members, including the most important one, namely, the US," he said.

The official also underlined the importance of regional initiatives, like, for instance, a group of NATO flank countries or a group of nine NATO states at its eastern border.

Soloch added that the meeting also discussed cooperation between NATO and the EU, "where relations with such countries as Sweden or Finland play a key role," as well as Ukraine and US-Europe relations.

Before the meeting Soloch said that one of the expected subjects of next week's London NATO summit would be defence spending, including a common budget from which expenditures on investments in NATO member states are covered, among other costs. The BBN head noted that, "finances are a constant subject of NATO meetings."

Soloch added that it was worth drawing attention to the attitude of European countries that had met America's justified expectations half way. "The number of European states that spend or plan to spend in the near future 2 percent of their GDP on defence is growing," he said. "We estimate that after 2024, that requirement will be met by half the (NATO - PAP) member states."

Soloch also said that since 2016, when the allies confirmed at the Warsaw summit their previously declared intention to strive to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence, "American appeals have yielded results and defence spending has increased by about USD 100 billion."