Stoltenberg: Redzikowo Base - Construction Works Will Begin In The Spring. More NATO in Poland than Ever, After the Polish Summit.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, announced that construction works related to the NATO Anti-Missile Shield in Poland are going to begin in the spring this year. Stoltenberg noted that after the summit in Warsaw, NATO’s presence in Poland is going to be pronounced more than ever before.
During a joint press meeting, involving Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland, Stoltenberg said that NATO is going to begin the works of a key value, related to the missile defence initiatives undertaken by the alliance. Thus, this may be interpreted as a confirmation of the fact that Aegis Ashore system is going to be stationed in Poland. Creating the elements of the “shield” in Poland is scheduled to be formally initiated in mid-2016.
NATO Secretary General also hoped that NATO presence in Poland is going to be reinforced. Stoltenberg, at the same time, indicated the Poland’s strong involvement in NATO, visible in a form of presence of hundreds of soldiers assisting the Organization in Afghanistan and Kosovo, providing support within the scope of the Baltic Air Policing operation or carrying out Maritime missions and providing the naval assets.
The official indicated that there is a great significance to the increased defence funding in Poland, and importance of increasing the defence expenditure up to the level of 2% of GDP, whereas 30% of that sum is allocated to modernization of the army. Ca. 30% of this year’s Polish defence budget covers the property-related expenditure. Stoltenberg also covered the issue of Warsaw-provided support for the partner nations, including Ukraine, also through a special NATO fund, thanks to which the capabilities within the scope of logistics are going to be enhanced.
Answering the question asked by one of the journalists, the NATO Secretary confirmed the fact that the NATO Summit this year is going to take place in Warsaw. Stoltenberg also referred to the actions and steps taken by the Russians, including the annexation of Crimea, increased military capabilities in the NATO member states close to the flashpoint, a nd to the fact that numerous exercises are being carried out.
Moscow’s stance create a need for NATO to show an adequate answer. At the same time, NATO has no “luxury’ of selecting the enemy - whether the enemy is located in the East or in the South (referring to the terrorism and the Middle East), and the alliance is required to maintain defence capabilities that would be adequate to the threat posed in both of the aforementioned areas.
Stoltenberg finally announced that preparation for the Warsaw summit is progressing. NATO Secretary General stated that steps will be taken to reinforce the alliance and to make it more flexible. In the end, the official also emphasized the meaning of unity among the NATO member states, resulting from the basic beliefs and driving values, including democracy, individual freedom, and strong law.