Joint press conference

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Polish Minister of Defence, Antoni Macierewicz (Orzysz , Poland)

  • 25 Aug. 2017 -
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  • Last updated: 25 Aug. 2017 14:17

(As delivered)

Thank you so much Minister Macierewicz,

It’s a great honour to be here today and to meet with you. And to meet the soldiers of the NATO battlegroup here in Poland.

And as you said, it is historic, because this is the first time NATO deploys a multinational battalion, battlegroup, of combat-ready forces to this part of our Alliance, and the battlegroup here in Poland is part of a broader adaptation and response of NATO to a more demanding and challenging security environment. We are now having battlegroups in Estonia, in Latvia, in Lithuania and in Poland and that’s a direct result of the decisions we made at the very successful NATO Summit in Warsaw last year in July. And a year after, we are able to deliver on the most important decision, the readiness, the deployment of our battlegroups to the three Baltic countries and Poland.

The battlegroups are very important because they show NATO’s resolve, NATO’s unity and they also send a very strong message of multinational unity of NATO, a strong message of deterrence because by being multinational, by having forces from many different NATO Allies stationed here, we send a clear signal that an attack on one Ally will be regarded as an attack on the whole Alliance and that is the core of NATO, that is what NATO is all about, that is our Article 5, collective defence, one for all and all for one, and it’s very reassuring to see that in practice with the multinational battlegroup deployed here in Poland.

Then I would also like to say that we all know that our freedom doesn’t come for free. And Poland knows that very well because you have such a troubled history, and therefore you know that we have to invest in our defence, in our security, to make sure that we continue to be free. Therefore I welcome what you do in so many different ways, supporting, contributing to NATO, to our collective defence. You are investing in new capabilities, which are important for Poland but also for the whole Alliance, and you are contributing to many different NATO missions and operations, in Afghanistan, in Kosovo, in Iraq, and you are investing now 2% of GDP in defence, that is of great importance, and you are also hosting different NATO capabilities and capacities. We are now developing a ballistic missile defence site in Poland, and we are now also looking into what more we can do in Poland in the future.

So once again, it is a great pleasure and honour to meet you. I would like to thank you, but not least, I would like to thank the soldiers who are serving here, thank them for their commitment, for their service and for what they do every day, making sure that we can live in peace and making sure that NATO every day delivers credible deterrence. It has been a great honour to be here and meet the soldiers, and meet all of you today.

Thank you.