Together for regional security
Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jacek Czaputowicz together with their British counterparts, Gavin Williamson and Boris Johnson took part in the Polish-British consultations in the format of the so-called Quadriga, which took place in Helenów.
As minister Blaszczak emphasized during the talks, Poland perceives Great Britain as a reliable ally in Europe and appreciates its contribution to strengthening the eastern flank, among others through participation in the eFP battle group.
The multinational battle group stationed in Poland includes a British unit of around 130 soldiers. The United Kingdom is also the framework state of the battalion battle group in Estonia.
The head of the Ministry of Defense informed that the talks concerned mainly threats that exist in Europe and other parts of the world. He stressed the decent cooperation between countries.
- Thank you for your openness and for the fact that we have similar opinions on many matters, we think very similarly. Polish-British relations have always been very close, friendly. I am confident that this will be the case also in the future - said Minister Blaszczak.
One of the topics discussed was related to the tightening of defense industries cooperation.
- We are in the process of negotiating industrial cooperation projects related to the production of weapons and orders for the most modern equipment. (...) We hope that the Narew program will be strengthened through our cooperation regarding short-range missiles - the head of the Defense Ministry noted.
In the afternoon, ministers of defense and foreign affairs laid wreaths in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of regaining by Poland its independence and of the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.
- We Poles have many relations with Great Britain. These include historical events, but also the approach to security matters (...) - Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said during the ceremony on Marshal Piłsudski Square in Warsaw.
The head of the Defense Ministry also referred to the bilateral relations between the two nations:
- In December last year, we signed a treaty on cooperation on security and defense. Thanks to this document, our relations are very close when it comes to military cooperation, military exercises, but also when it comes to cooperation of defense industries - the minister stressed.
- We also closely cooperate within the framework of the NATO Alliance. Evidence are the soldiers of the United Kingdom who are stationed in Orzysz. Together, we provide security on NATO's eastern flank. I would like to thank you for such close cooperation. I would like to thank you for the fact that together we care for the security of our countries, but also for the whole of Europe and the free world - emphasized Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
- Poland is a country that has stood shoulder to shoulder with Great Britain so many times. (...) Poles fought next to us, not only in England, also in North Africa and Italy. They bravely fought for freedom not only for us but for Europe as a whole - said British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson.
- This is how we have been cooperating in the field of security for over 20 years within NATO. (...) That is why I and my countrymen are proud of the fact that we can, on Polish soil, stand shoulder to shoulder with Poles, soldiers from the Polish army, defend the security not only of Poland, but also of Europe as a whole - emphasized Minister Williamson.
The ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw ended with the military parade, in which a platoon from the 15th Mechanized Brigade took part and a British sub-unit from the eFP battalion battle group which is stationed in Poland. British soldiers are one of the contributing countries, together with Romania and Croatia, while the United States of America are an eFP framework nation in Poland. The allied troops are stationed in Orzysz.
Ministers also watched the military equipment static exhibition and talked with Polish and British soldiers, which were present at Piłsudski Square in Warsaw.
Consultations in the formula of the so-called Quadriga (the four ministers debate together during the plenary meeting, preceded by bilateral meetings of the heads of individual ministries), is one of the formats of relations that permanently inscribed in the traditions of allied relations between Poland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.