Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that involvement of Poland in operations conducted by this alliance is a positive contribution to common security.
The head of NATO visited Poland to attend commemoration marking the 20th anniversary of joining the North Atlantic Pact by Poland.
“The clear message and clear lesson that we have learned is that new members, like Poland, they have actually shown that they are very staunch and committed allies, which are delivering key capabilities to NATO,” Mr Stoltenberg said.
“Poland is participating our battle group in the Baltic Countries in Latvia, is conducting Baltic Air Policing, and Poland is participating NATO missions and operations in Kosovo, Iraq and fighting terrorism in Afghanistan,” the NATO Secretary General added.
Mr Stoltenberg was asked about the possibility of increasing the US Army presence in Poland. “We have to remember that NATO and the US have already increased our military presence in Poland..., and we can quickly reinforce it if needed,” he said.
He added that rotational forces of the US in Poland are “also the element of NATO presence because the US is the largest ally. It all empowers the security warranties of NATO,” Mr Stoltenberg said.
“We have deployed battle groups in the eastern part of the alliance, also in Poland, for the first time in our history. We increased the readiness of our forces, we are exercising more together and the US is actually increasing their military presence in Europe for the first time since the end of the Cold War. So in NATO, we are actually doing more together despite disagreements and different views in other areas,” the Secretary-General said.
Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary joined NATO on March 12, 1999. These were the first three members of the former Warsaw Pact and communist bloc to join the Alliance.