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Andrzej Duda in Lithuania: the Ukrainian army will strengthen NATO militarily

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We hope that during the Vilnius summit decisions will be made regarding the first steps towards Ukraine’s accession to NATO as soon as possible, said Polish President Andrzej Duda in Klaipeda. He pointed out that the changing security situation in our region of Europe, related, inter alia, to the announcements of Russian President Vladimir Putin about the relocation of nuclear weapons to Belarus, threatens the entire North Atlantic Alliance.

President Duda and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda are taking part in Klaipeda on Friday in exercises of Polish and Lithuanian special forces. The Polish president thanked for the joint exercises and stressed that the tradition of joint military cooperation within NATO had already been developed in this place.

– Elements of our contingent came here to exercise together, but also to support Lithuanian soldiers in protecting the NATO summit that will start here next week – said Duda.

SEE ALSO: Attack on Ukraine. Live coverage in tvn24.pl

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According to the President of Poland, this summit is a very important moment for security. – It is very important for both of us to ensure security and for all Lithuanian residents to have a sense of security of the allied presence – he said.

Andrzej Duda and Gitanas NausedaPAP/Radek Pietruszka

Waiting for the summit in Vilnius

Duda expressed the hope that decisions on further support for Ukraine, which is struggling with Russian aggression, will be taken during the Vilnius summit. – As well as the first steps to ensure that Ukraine soon, we hope, as soon as possible, joins NATO, becoming its full member with all the rights and guarantees resulting from membership in the alliance. Of course, also with all the responsibilities, he stressed.

Read also: Lithuania prepares for the summit. Border control with Poland is back

He added that “Ukraine and its army of experienced soldiers, which will become a military part of NATO, will certainly strengthen this alliance militarily.”

At the press conference in Klaipeda, the Polish president pointed out that the changing security situation in our region of Europe, related to the by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin on the relocation of nuclear weapons to Belarusthreatens the entire North Atlantic Alliance.

Read also: Stoltenberg: During the Vilnius Summit, we will establish the NATO-Ukraine Council

Exercises of Polish and Lithuanian special forces in KlaipedaPAP/Radek Pietruszka

Letter of presidents to Stoltenberg

Presidents of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia – Andrzej Duda, Gitanas Nauseda and Egils Levits – addressed a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in connection with the situation in Belarus. The document was published on Friday by the offices of the presidents of Poland and Lithuania.

– Because we are direct neighbors of Belarus – Poland, Lithuania, Latvia – and we all know that the relocation of Wagner Group mercenaries to Belarus is also announced, there is no doubt that this changes the security architecture on NATO’s eastern flank, just before the Alliance’s summit – said Duda.

– We decided to write this letter precisely so that we could raise this topic at the meeting of NATO heads of state and government in the coming days, so that this topic would be announced, so that the topic would not surprise colleagues from other countries – he added.

In a letter addressed to Stoltenberg, the leaders stressed that cooperation Russia and Belarus has deteriorated the security of our region and the entire Euro-Atlantic area. “The territory of Belarus and its resources are used by Russia for illegal and brutal aggression against Ukraine, which proves the increasingly close military integration of the two countries,” the document states.

Duda: It is difficult for us to rule out that the presence of the Wagner Group in Belarus is a potential threat to Poland and LithuaniaTVN24

Actions to improve safety

The presidents of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia pointed out that the last manifestation of this integration was the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, which poses a direct threat to the societies of these countries. “This is another flagrant violation of the NATO-Russia Act and proof that this document is no longer in force,” the presidents wrote.

Duda, Nauseda and Levits also pointed out that the deployment of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group and their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in Belarus may be an incentive for the regime in Minsk to cause a new wave of migration and a humanitarian crisis on the borders of the European Union.

Before the NATO summit in Vilnius, the presidents proposed specific actions to improve security, including review of the nuclear deterrent program and its adaptation to new realities, strengthening NATO’s eastern flank and increasing defense spending above 2 percent of GDP, and increasing the Allies’ resilience to hybrid threats.

Summit in Vilnius

The next NATO summit will be held in Vilnius on July 11-12. The decision will be formally approved extending the term of office of Jens Stoltenberg as Secretary General of NATO.

Read also: Joe Biden will go to Europe. The main goal of the NATO summit in Vilnius

The countries of the North Atlantic Alliance decided that in the face of Russia’s war against Ukraine, it was better to leave an experienced leader in the position instead of trying to agree on a successor in the course of negotiations.

Read also: President on “five key areas” ahead of the NATO summit

NATO summit in Vilnius may be crucial for Ukraine.  Jens Stoltenberg remains secretary general

NATO summit in Vilnius may be crucial for Ukraine. Jens Stoltenberg remains secretary generalMonika Krajewska/Fakty TVN

Main photo source: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

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