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President Duda: Higher NATO presence in Poland 'necessary'

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 17.08.2015 13:35
The presence of NATO in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe should increase, said President Andrzej Duda in his first interview for Polish Radio since taking office.

Andrzej Duda stressed that NATO's eastern border is marked by the Bug river, along which parts of Poland's borders with both Ukraine and Belarus run.

The Polish president added that this means that the country needs a stronger and more constant presence of allied troops.

“The aim is very simple: to strengthen Polish security, [while at the same time] strengthening security guarantees for Central and Eastern Europe,” stressed President Andrzej Duda, adding that the number of NATO bases in Poland should increase.

Andrzej Duda has said many times that NATO should have a stronger presence in the country.

Even during the campaign prior to the May presidential election, he said that the NATO summit in Warsaw next year will be a good platform to discuss extending the scope of NATO in the region.

In the interview – the first Polish radio interview since Andrzej Duda took office on 6 August – the President said that by the time Warsaw hosts the summit, an “appropriate programme and plan” needs to be laid out which will then only need to be “formally approved”.

In a recent interview for the UK-based Financial Times, President Andrzej Duda criticised NATO for treating Poland like a “buffer zone”.

“We do not want to be the buffer zone,” he said. “We want to be the real eastern flank of the alliance.” (rg/rk)

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