News Foreign policy Ministry Travel to Poland
12 March 2017
After seven years of hard work by Polish diplomats, on March 12, 1999 in the small American town of Independence, representatives of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary signed accession protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty. Eighteen years later, Poland is a reliable member of NATO, contributing effectively to the building of security in the region and the world.
The North Atlantic Alliance today is the most important instrument underpinning Polish security. As a result of eighteen years of membership in NATO structures we are an integral part of the security infrastructure, of which NATO is a key element. Serious threats to international stability caused by Russian aggression on Ukraine, have forced the NATO Alliance to consolidate defence tasks and strengthen military capabilities aimed at collective defence.
Last year's NATO summit in Warsaw presented specific remedies to the growing threats. The meeting saw the adoption of the Warsaw Declaration on Transatlantic Security, describing the negative changes in the international environment and indicating NATO response, based on the enhanced military presence on the Eastern Flank and building stability in both the eastern and the southern neighborhood countries of the Alliance. In accordance with the decisions of the summit in Warsaw, the Multinational Divisional Headquarters will be created in Poland, which will coordinate a group of four allied battalions deployed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The command will be based in Elblag, where the 16th Pomeranian Mechanised Division is currently stationed. A US-led battalion group reinforced by soldiers from Great Britain and Romania will be formed in our country.
Moreover, an armoured brigade combat team will be deployed to Poland, as announced by US President during NATO Summit in Warsaw, reaffirming the strategic nature of Polish-US relations. The first American soldiers arrived in Poland at the beginning of this year and construction of a base has been started in Redzikowo. The base will be part of the US missile defence system, the so-called shield.
Membership in the most powerful military alliance in the world has given Poland a guarantee of safety and has reinforced the country’s importance in the international arena. The requirement of having to adapt to NATO standards has equipped the Polish Armed Forces with the ability to interact comprehensively with other armies within the Alliance. As Minister Witold Waszczykowski recently said in the Sejm, Poland is seen as a model for other Member States with regard to its serious approach to security issues: “We are very responsible when it comes to spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence, as required by NATO, with a minimum of 20 per cent of this expenditure being spent on modernization.” Our commitment to NATO’s activities has helped Poland become a credible partner in the eyes of its allies, as well as third countries.
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