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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

NATO fully aware of Russian threat: Polish defence minister

22.10.2021 07:30
Poland’s defence minister has told reporters that NATO is fully aware of "the threat emanating from Russia" as he met with his counterparts from the alliance's member countries in Brussels. 
Polands Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
Poland’s Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Speaking to reporters after the meeting at NATO headquarters in the Belgian capital on Thursday, Mariusz Błaszczak said “we can be pleased with the fact that the North-Atlantic Alliance perceives the Russian threat very clearly."

He added he had briefed his NATO colleagues on a migrant crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border.   

“There is no doubt in my mind that what is happening there, what the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is doing, must have Russian support,” Błaszczak said, as quoted by Poland's PAP news agency.

“It definitely serves Russia’s interests, so I highlighted the situation and how we are combating the migrant crisis,” he added.

Błaszczak said his counterparts from Lithuania and Latvia had also shared their experiences in dealing with “the hybrid attack taking place at our frontiers with Belarus.”

Błaszczak told reporters that while Poland was able to handle the migrant challenge on its own, “what matters is unanimity, what counts is solidarity among NATO countries - and I would like to underline that I received declarations to that effect.”

At Thursday’s meeting, NATO defence ministers agreed a new master plan for deterrence and defence of the Euro-Atlantic area, news agencies reported.   

Błaszczak revealed the plan “takes into account the threats to NATO’s eastern flank, coming from Russia,” hailing it as "an achievement for Poland and other countries in our region.”

He also said that Poland was investing in its defence capability and was "among the leaders" within the alliance in terms of defence spending as a percentage of GDP.

(pm/gs)

Source: IAR, PAP