Joint press conference

with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of Defence of Poland - Secretary General's opening remarks

  • 31 May. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 31 May. 2016 10:24

(As delivered)

Joint press point with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Minister of Defence of Poland, Antoni Macierewicz

Thank you very much, Minister Macierewicz.

It’s great to meet with you again. We have met several times and it’s always very useful to meet with you and to discuss how we together can respond to more challenging security environment. Poland is a leading Ally.

With consistent and strong engagement in our missions and operations. You bolster the security of our partners, from Ukraine to Afghanistan. And you lead by example, spending more than 2% of GDP on defence last year. All these contributions help keep Poland strong and NATO strong.

Today, we discussed our preparations for the Warsaw Summit in July. The Summit comes at a critical time. We see a more assertive Russia.  Intimidating its neighbours.  And changing borders by force. We also see growing extremism and violence across North Africa and the Middle East. And we see challenges that know no borders, such as terrorism, cyber-attacks, and ballistic missile proliferation. 

NATO is responding. We are implementing the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War. Increasing the strength and capability of the NATO Response Force. Speeding up political and military decision-making. And setting up new small headquarters, including here in Poland, in Bydgoszcz. All these measures are defensive and will strengthen us as an Alliance.

At the Warsaw Summit, we will take the next steps.

Enhancing our forward presence in the eastern part of our Alliance. With a multinational, rotational presence of Allied troops and pre-positioning of equipment. Including here in Poland. A clear sign of Allied solidarity and unity.

We will also do more to project stability beyond our borders. By working with partner nations – both in the east and the south.  To help them strengthen their defence institutions.  And build more capable forces. Because if they are more stable, we are more secure.Our security can never be taken for granted. And this is well understood in Poland.

So, Minister Antoni Macierewicz, it’s great to see you again. I am looking forward to continuing our work together to make the Warsaw Summit a success.