Poland’s president calls for new NATO strategy after meeting leaders in Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria

Poland's President Andrzej Duda listens to Romania's President Klaus Iohannis during press statements at the Presidential Palace in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

NATO needs to reassess its strategic conception to adapt to a new reality after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including a permanent presence in Eastern flank countries, said Polish President Andrzej Duda following consultations with regional leaders.

“NATO’s new strategy, which will be designed, must contain the changes clearly caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Alliance must consider this,” he pointed out. Duda explained that NATO presence in Eastern flank member states should now become permanent.

Duda met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest Tuesday afternoon, with the visit marking the third and final stop in Duda’s political consultation tour with regional leaders prior to the NATO summit on Thursday.

Following the meeting, Duda emphasized, that NATO had to change its strategic concepts.

“The alliance’s presence in our countries should change its character, to a defensive, permanent presence, enhanced in terms of numbers and equipment,” said Poland’s president.

He also said that the 1997 NATO-Russia Act “has ceased to exist because Russia doesn’t feel bound by it.”

Duda had also met earlier on Monday Moldovan President Maia Sandu and on Tuesady morning Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, with whom he discussed the security situation in context of Russia’s attack.

After the meeting in Sofia, Duda underlined that the upcoming NATO summit would concern the war in Ukraine, the challenges ahead of the Alliance and adaptation to the current situation.

Moreover, Duda and Radev spoke about the possibilities of strengthening NATO’s Eastern flank, including the idea to construct a network of pipelines along it which would allow the region’s countries to become independent of Russian energy supplies.

Poland’s president also informed his Bulgarian counterpart about Poland’s plan to develop its military. He reminded,that the number of active soldiers in Poland’s army is meant to be increased up to 250,000 and 50,000 are meant to serve in the Territorial Defense Force. A recruiting service for volunteers will also be introduced and funds for the Polish army will be increased.

An emergency NATO summit will be held on Thursday in Brussels. U.S. President Joe Biden will also be in attendance.

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