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Polish FM calls for NATO unity amid 'aggressive stance' by Russia, Belarus

08.12.2021 23:00
Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau on Wednesday called for NATO unity during a meeting in Warsaw with his Latvian counterpart, Edgars Rinkēvičs, amid what he described as an aggressive stance by Russia and Belarus.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (R), and Latvias top diplomat Edgars Rinkvis (L), meet the media after their talks in Warsaw on Wednesday.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (R), and Latvia's top diplomat Edgars Rinkēvičs (L), meet the media after their talks in Warsaw on Wednesday.PAP/Tomasz Gzell

Speaking after his talks with Rinkēvičs, Rau said that “over the past few months, our two countries, but also Lithuania and Estonia, have been working especially closely together as we had to jointly respond to a hybrid attack on our borders by the Belarusian regime.” 

Rau noted at a joint news conference that Polish pilots were patrolling Baltic skies as part of NATO’s air policing mission and that Polish troops were part of a multinational NATO battalion stationed in Latvia. 

The Polish foreign minister said he and Rinkēvičs had exchanged information about the situation on both countries’ frontiers with Belarus, which “remains far from stable.”

He stressed that these frontiers were part of the external border of the European Union, the state PAP news agency reported.

Rau thanked Latvia for "acting with solidarity, supportively and simply responsibly during these testing times for us all." 

“In the face of an aggressive stance by Russia and Belarus, the whole transatlantic Alliance must maintain unity and solidarity,” Rau stated.

“We remain in solidarity with Ukraine,” he added, referring to increased tensions between Kyiv and Moscow.    

'Friendship and cooperation'

Latvia's Rinkēvičs told reporters that Poland was “exposed the most” to Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko’s “hybrid operation against the borders of the EU and NATO.” 

He voiced gratitude “for the support provided to Latvia by the Polish government at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Both foreign ministers noted it was 100 years since Poland and Latvia established diplomatic relations and 30 since they were resumed after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The Polish-Latvian relationship can be summed up by the words “friendship and cooperation,” Rau told reporters.


Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska.