Polish proposals are a return to NATO’s tenets

The Foreign Policy magazine has published an op-ed by Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, in which he writes about Poland’s role in NATO and expectations ahead of the Alliance’s summit in Warsaw.

“We all cannot escape difficult geopolitical reality: We are witnessing a dramatic deterioration of the security situation in Europe’s eastern and southern neighbourhoods, including directly on Poland’s doorstep,” argues Minister Witold Waszczykowski. “So we are pressing our allies to take a more dynamic approach to NATO, one that recognizes the menace posed by a restless and intrusive leadership in Moscow,” he underscores.

Poland’s top diplomat pays much attention to the direction in which NATO should be headed. “What we are telling our friends is that the alliance does not in itself guarantee security. What Europe and the United States need is a more active, energetic NATO that takes practical steps to ensure the real safety of its citizens,” points out the minister. “And the place to start is the alliance’s Eastern flank. Only a substantial investment in infrastructure, the deployment of military units on the ground – reinforced by precise contingency plans in the event of attack – can give Poland and its neighbours the security we need,” he observes.

According to Waszczykowski, the US decision to deploy a heavy armoured brigade in Central and Eastern Europe is an important step towards greater security of the region and the whole continent. The chief of Polish diplomacy stresses that these measures are not meant to provoke any country, but rather to reduce the risk of conflict. “Build up defences and we eliminate the temptation to test NATO’s cohesion,” he urges.

As Minister Witold Waszczykowski notes, the founding principle of NATO is to deter an external aggressor, share military capacities, and demonstrate the solidarity to make that deterrence credible. Polish proposals are thus a return to NATO’s tenets. “We want Warsaw to be the place where, through practical steps, the alliance reaffirms the credibility of security guarantees towards all its members,” he adds. Minister Waszczykowski goes on to assert that Poland’s main goal is an equal security status for all NATO member states across the entire territory of the alliance.

Apart from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the Polish foreign minister also discusses other security challenges the international community is confronted with today: “The collective fight against the threat of Daesh, or the so-called Islamic State, is a civilizational struggle, and we hope to overcome it together.” The minister highlights Poland’s readiness to play a responsible role in stabilizing the Middle East and North Africa. “Although sensitized to the threat from the east, we are not turning our back on the wider world,” he declares.

Poland’s top diplomat also writes that Poland wants an EU that looks after the interests of all its member states: “We want to be in the European Union, but we understand it as a democratic European Union rooted in solidarity. This of course does not make us Eurosceptics,” he adds.

“If the alliance is to defend itself effectively, each of its members must be clear what it is ready to fight for, what values, what kind of society,” concludes Minister Waszczykowski. “Only a tightening of ties between the United States and Europe and a discernible consolidation of the alliance’s Eastern flank can guarantee the long-term safety of the region — and ensure that Europe’s stability will never again become a headache for the world,” writes the minister.

Source: Foreign Policy/MFA