Rasmussen: NATO justified in reinforcing defense of Poland
May 9, 2014
Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Donald Tusk
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during his visit to Warsaw that the Alliance was fully justified in reinforcing the defense of Poland and other allies in wake of the Ukraine crisis.
“Russia’s illegal and illegitimate aggression against Ukraine is the greatest challenge to Europe’s security in a generation. So we have rightly reinforced the defense of our Allies, including Poland,” Rasmussen said.
Right now, aircraft and ships from across the alliance are reinforcing the security of our allies from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. We will keep on reinforcing that security, with exercises, defense plans, and appropriate deployments," he said.
Rasmussen was in Warsaw Wednesday and Thursday for talks with the Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk on the situation in Ukraine and preparations for the September summit in Wales. He also met Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and National Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.
“The crisis shows us more clearly than ever that collective defense matters. And that cooperation between the two shores of the Atlantic is the best and most natural way to keep ourselves secure,” Rasmussen said after meeting Tusk.
He added that allies had to strengthen their capabilities through stronger investment and stronger cooperation.
Tusk said that during the talks he emphasized the importance of having a permanent NATO presence in the central and eastern European region.
He added that Poland was willing to carry the increased financial and organizational burden that strengthening defenses would incur.