NATO Secretary General and Polish President address Belarus, Russian build-up near Ukraine
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and President Andrzej Duda of Poland met at NATO Headquarters on Thursday (25 November 2021) to address current security challenges.
The Secretary General highlighted Poland’s commitment to the Alliance, with its many contributions to NATO missions and operations. Mr Stoltenberg also underlined NATO’s strong deterrent presence in Poland, including a multinational battlegroup. “Poland stands with NATO, and NATO stands with Poland”, he said.
The two leaders discussed Russia’s continued military build-up near Ukraine and the situation on the border between Belarus and Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. On Belarus, the Secretary General said: “All NATO Allies have made clear that they strongly condemn the Lukashenko regime’s exploitation of vulnerable people to pressure neighbouring countries. This is inhumane and cynical, and we stand in full solidarity with the Allies affected.” Mr Stoltenberg said that Russia should use its influence over Belarus to end the situation on the border and that its support for Lukashenko regime is part of a broader pattern of concern.
On Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine, the Secretary General said: “We see large and unusual concentration of forces combined with aggressive rhetoric and disinformation from Moscow. So we call on Russia to be transparent, reduce tensions and de-escalate. NATO remains vigilant, and we continue to provide Ukraine with political and practical support. This is not a threat to Russia, and it helps Ukraine to defend itself from aggression.”
NATO Foreign Ministers will meet in Riga on 30 November and 1 December to discuss a range of security issues, and will meet with their Ukrainian and Georgian counterparts.