Press conference

with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda at Łask Military Airbase in Poland

  • 01 Mar. 2022 -
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  • Mis à jour le: 01 Mar. 2022 16:12

(As delivered)

President Duda,
Dear Andrzej,

Thank you so much for the warm welcome.
It is great to be back at the Łask airbase.
I was here for the first time in 2014.
And today, I see how this airbase really demonstrates NATO
unity and NATO presence.

And, President Duda, let me also thank you for your strong personal commitment to NATO,
to our transatlantic Alliance,
and the importance of standing together.

President Putin has shattered peace in Europe.
Allies condemn the unjustified and brutal invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian assault is totally unacceptable.
And it is enabled by Belarus.

NATO Allies provide support to Ukraine.
We welcome the leading role of Poland.
You are opening your borders to the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict.
And I thank Poland for its support and strength at this dangerous time for Europe.

Putin’s war affects us all.
And NATO Allies will always stand together.
To defend and protect each other.
And at this air base we see Allied solidarity in action.
Fighter jets from the United States are flying alongside the Polish Air Force.
Keeping NATO skies safe, 24/7.

Over the last weeks, we have increased our presence in the eastern part of the Alliance.
And today, we are for the first time in our history deploying the NATO Response Force.
Today, French troops are arriving in Romania as the lead element of this force.

Our commitment to Article 5, our collective defence clause, is iron-clad. 
We will protect and defend every inch of NATO territory. 

NATO is a defensive Alliance. 
We do not seek conflict with Russia. 
Russia must immediately stop the war.
Pull out all its forces from Ukraine.
And engage in good faith in diplomatic efforts.

The world stands with Ukraine in calling for peace.

So once again, President Duda, thank you for your hospitality.
Thank you for Poland’s strong and staunch support to our Alliance.
And thank you for hosting me here today.
Thank you.

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Reporter (TVN 24): Good morning, TVN 24 (Reporter). I would like to ask about the support of NATO to Ukraine. And I would like to ask about the combat jets, fighter that Ukraine has asked for. Has Ukraine already been provided with them or if not is it going to be provided with them? And will NATO make it possible for Ukraine to use NATO airfields or airbases like for example, this one we are at here today?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: Well NATO stands in solidarity with Ukraine. NATO Allies have imposed severe costs on Russia for its totally unjustified and reckless invasion of Ukraine and we will hold both Russia and Belarus accountable for what they are doing by enabling the Russian invasion of Ukraine. NATO Allies have imposed costs on Russia by implementing severe sanctions. We actually addressed those sanctions in the phone call with President Biden and President Duda, and other NATO leaders  and the EU. NATO Allies provide different types of military support: material, anti-tank weapons, air defense systems and other types of military equipment for Ukraine, humanitarian aid and also financial support. But NATO is not to be part of the conflict. NATO is not going to send the troops into Ukraine or move planes into Ukrainian airspace. Then, I think it is for President Duda to answer the question about Potential Polish planes being made available For the Ukrainian Air Force

President of Poland Andrzej Duda: Gentlemen, as Secretary General has now said, we are not sending any jets to Ukraine because that would open a military interference in the Ukrainian conflict. We are not joining that conflict. NATO is not a party to that conflict. However as I said, we are supporting Ukrainians with humanity aid. However, we are not going to send any jets to the Ukrainian airspace.