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Polish defence minister praises NATO solidarity in face of Russian threat

02.02.2023 20:30
Poland's defence minister has said that solidarity between the member countries of NATO and the European Union is the cornerstone of resilience against Russia and its imperial ambitions. 
Polands Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak (left) and Croatias Mario Banoić (right) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Zagreb, Croatia, on Thursday, February 2, 2023.
Poland's Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak (left) and Croatia's Mario Banožić (right) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Zagreb, Croatia, on Thursday, February 2, 2023. Twitter/Polish Ministry of Defence

Mariusz Błaszczak made the remark in the Croatian capital Zagreb on Thursday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported. 

He spoke to reporters after holding talks with his Croatian counterpart Mario Banožić, according to officials. 

Support for Ukraine, West Balkans, bilateral ties

Błaszczak and Banožić discussed support for war-torn Ukraine, the situation in the Western Balkans and bilateral cooperation, reporters were told. 

Błaszczak announced that Banožić would visit Poland later this month to meet with NATO troops from Croatia, as well as the United States, Britain and Romania. 

The Polish defence minister said: “I appreciate the fact that Croatian forces are continuing to station on Polish soil. Without a doubt, it strengthens interoperability between our armies and shows solidarity within the North Atlantic Alliance.” 

'Threat posed by attempts to resurrect Russian empire'

He added: “Amid the threat posed by attempts to resurrect the Russian empire, and by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, NATO and EU solidarity represents the crucial foundation upon which we are building our resilience.”  

'Threats from the east, but also from the south'

Błaszczak also told reporters that Poland was “pleased and delighted” that the United Nations had extended its mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Polish forces are taking part in this mission and will continue to do so,” he declared.

Błaszczak said this was an example of "Poland’s solidarity with allies."

He added: “We are aware of threats from the east, but also from the south.” 

'Strategic partners and allies'

Błaszczak also said that both Poland and Croatia were spending considerable sums to upgrade their armed forces.

“It’s an area for cooperation, both in the field of manufacturing, and within the European Union,” he added.

Błaszczak told reporters that “security is the key to the development of both our countries, as well as the entire European community” and congratulated Croatia on its entry to the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone.

Meanwhile, Banožić said that Poland and Croatia were "strategic partners and allies,” according to officials.  

Earlier in the day, Błaszczak, who also serves as a Polish deputy prime minister, met with Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

Thursday was day 344 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, PAP, interia.pl