12 IV 2016

Defence Minister Macierewicz’s Visit in Belgium

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“We discussed the political and technical aspects of preparations for the NATO Summit. Our discussion focused on the issue of a sustained forward presence on the eastern flank of NATO,” said Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, after his meeting with NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.
zdjęcie - Defence Minister Macierewicz’s Visit in Belgium
Photo. ppor. Robert Suchy/CO MON

On Tuesday, the head of Poland’s Defence Ministry was in Belgium, where he held talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Commander of NATO forces in Europe (SACEUR), General Philip Breedlove.

During a visit to SHAPE, Defence Minister Macierewicz also met with soldiers from the Polish National Military Delegation to NATO in Mons.

Defence Minister Macierewicz thanked General Breedlove during talks for taking the Polish point of view into account when planning the deployment of armed forces on the eastern flank, indicating at the same time, that without the presence of international NATO troops, defense would not be effective. General Breedlove expressed his appreciation for Poland’s involvement in work on the development of a plan to strengthen the eastern flank. He stressed during his talks with the Polish Defence Minister, the importance of the Multinational Corps North-East in Szczecin, in creating a real deterrence potential. The General also thanked the Minister for the involvement of Polish officers serving in SHAPE.

During a visit to SHAPE, the Defence Minister met with soldiers serving in Mons. “I am full of admiration for what you are doing. On behalf of the Government of Premier Beata Szydło, I would like to thank you for your efforts and continuous work. For this, that you can meet the goals ahead and also for the fact, that you know how to properly represent the Polish Armed Forces. (…) I trust that your service will continue to be implemented with the same level of enthusiasm and with the same determination,” said Defence Minister Macierewicz during the meeting.

In the afternoon, Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

After the talks ended, the head of Poland’s Defence Ministry said that both here, in NATO, and in his conversation with Gen. Breedlove, there was a consensus regarding the NATO Summit, which should confirm the persistent forward presence of NATO troops in such a dimension, as to ensure the deterrence of a potential aggressor.

“After speaking with both Gen. Breedlove, and the Secretary General, I can assure you that in principle, most all the points that Poland made have a chance of being implemented,” stressed the head of the Defence Ministry.

As the Defence Minister told reporters, providing any concrete dates today would not be appropriate due to work still being underway.

“I am satisfied with the talks held and the meeting with the Secretary General. From one perspective, we have the guarantee of a good preparation from an organizational side of the NATO Summit.  On the other, in most aspects, our view on the shape of a persistent NATO presence on the eastern flank is shared by the Secretary General and General Breedlove,” said the head of the Defence Ministry.

During the meeting with media representatives, Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz stressed, that Poland recognizes those risks, which are targeting the Baltic States. “We also understand the threat from the south, and understand the risks of migrations, because they can strike at our security and threaten the break-up of the whole of Europe. (…) Because we see the threats coming from all directions, this is the reason why we want to support NATO in all fields of the alliance’s endeavor.

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