Polish FM, MoD, Nato counterparts discuss withdrawal from Afghanistan

The Polish foreign and defence ministers and their Nato counterparts have discussed the conclusion of the Resolute Support mission and the withdrawal of allied forces from Afghanistan.

At an emergency online conference of the North Atlantic Council, Nato chief, Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday that the alliance had agreed to withdraw its roughly 7,000 non-American forces from Afghanistan to match US President Joe Biden's decision to pull all American troops from the country starting on May 1.

"We now have decided to begin the withdrawal of all our Nato troops from Afghanistan starting from the first of May," Stoltenberg said. "We plan to complete the withdrawal of all our troops within a few months," he added.

The Nato ministers also discussed the recent build-up of Russian troops at the border with Ukraine and admitted that this was the cause of growing tension in the region. They also pointed to Russia's aggressive hybrid operations, the Polish Foreign Ministry said.

"Russia's destabilising actions are the largest challenge to the European security," Poland's foreign minister Zbigniew Rau was quoted as saying.

Rau also expressed concern over Russia's lack of constructive response to de-escalation diplomatic initiatives, including the ones taken as part of the OSCE Vienna Document.

"(Nato) allies fully support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Stoltenberg said. "We call on Russia to de-escalate immediately, stop the pattern of aggressive provocations and respect its international commitments," he added.