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Polish president hails NATO’s ‘historic’ invitation for Finland, Sweden to join

29.06.2022 19:00
Poland’s president on Wednesday said that NATO’s invitation for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance was “a historic decision.”
Polands President Andrzej Duda talks to reporters during a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda talks to reporters during a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.PAP/Mateusz Marek

Andrzej Duda’s words came at a key NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

Earlier in the day, NATO leaders decided to invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance. 

Finland, Sweden invited to join NATO

The Polish president told reporters: “For us, for our part of Europe, for NATO’s eastern flank, it’s a decision of an absolutely fundamental nature.” 

He added that Finland’s and Sweden’s accession would mean that two strong armies would join NATO. 

“For us, for Polish people, for Poland’s defences, for our security, this is very important news,” Duda stressed. 

He noted that, after initial objections, Turkey eventually agreed to support Finland’s and Sweden’s bids to enter NATO. 

The president said: “We have managed to maintain unity. NATO is united, it stands together. Finland and Sweden have been given the green light to join NATO, and for the entire alliance, this is definitely an absolutely historic decision.” 

Increased US presence in Poland  

Duda also welcomed US President Joe Biden’s decision to create a permanent headquarters for US Army V Corps in Poland in response to threats coming from Moscow after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

The Polish head of state said it was a move that Poland “had long waited for and advocated.”

“Without a doubt, it significantly strengthens our security and represents an additional guarantee in the current, very difficult situation,” Duda added.

Support for Ukraine

Duda said he had asked fellow NATO leaders to declare that allies that provide support to Ukraine would receive help from the alliance. 

“I am pleased that such a provision was included in the summit declaration,” he told reporters.

NATO leaders stated: “We welcome efforts of all Allies engaged in providing support to Ukraine. We will assist them adequately, recognising their specific situation.”

Russia called ‘the most significant and direct threat’

The summit declaration also described Russia as "the most significant and direct threat to the allies' security."

New strategic concept

In addition, NATO adopted a new strategic concept for the coming decade.

The alliance's leaders said: “It describes the security environment facing the Alliance, reaffirms our values, and spells out NATO’s key purpose and greatest responsibility of ensuring our collective defence based on a 360-degree approach.”

They added: “It further sets out NATO’s three core tasks of deterrence and defence; crisis prevention and management; and cooperative security.  In the years to come, it will guide our work in the spirit of our transatlantic solidarity.”

Referring to the new strategic blueprint, Paweł Soloch, the national security advisor to the Polish president, said: “All of Poland’s main expectations have been met.”

NATO’s Madrid summit runs until Thursday. 

Wednesday was day 126 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, nato.int