Thursday, 31 March 2016

New Atlanticist: Poland’s President Seeks Stronger NATO Presence in Europe’s East

New Atlanticist: Poland’s President Seeks Stronger NATO Presence in Europe’s East

Poland’s President, Andrzej Duda, wants an enhanced NATO presence—in the form of troops as well as infrastructure—in Central and Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression, but said his government does not want to isolate Russia or return to the Cold War.

Noting Russia’s military buildup in Kaliningrad Oblast, which borders Poland; its growing missile potential; and “aggressive” military exercises near the Baltic States, the Polish President emphasized the importance of “real deterrence” on Europe’s eastern flank in the face of these challenges.

“Real deterrence means real presence,” he said.

Duda spoke at the National Press Club in Washington on March 30 at an event co-hosted by the Atlantic Council and the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Following his remarks, Duda participated in a discussion with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

NATO will hold its annual meeting in Warsaw in July. Duda said the summit must demonstrate that “we are capable of building an adequate and cohesive defense potential based on resilience and deterrence.”

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