On Tuesday, Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak spoke by phone with the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. As he said, the topics included the development and technical modernization of the Polish army, the new US strategy, and the security situation in the Polish region. “The US is working closely with its allies in the face of changing threats,” said Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Poland, Bix Aliu.
“Good phone conversation with the secretary of defense,” Minister Blaszczak wrote on Twitter. “We talked about technical modernization, the development of the Polish Armed Forces and the details of the new strategy defined in the Global Posture Review. We also discussed the crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border and the security situation in the region, especially in Ukraine,” he added.
Chargé d’Affaires USA in Poland Bix Aliu informed that the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed in an interview with Blaszczak that the United States’ commitment to ensuring common security on the eastern flank of NATO was confirmed.
“The US is working closely with its allies in the face of changing threats,” he assured in a tweet.
Visit of the head of the Ministry of National Defense in the USA
In October, the head of the Ministry of National Defense paid a visit to Washington at the invitation of the Chief of the US Department of Defense Lloyd Austin. The talks were about “deepening the interoperability of troops, the American military presence in Poland, the security situation in Europe and arms purchases”, including on the purchase of M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 tanks and on issues related to the implementation of the defense cooperation agreement signed last year by the US and Polish presidents.
The Pentagon is soon to complete the Global Posture Review, which is to adjust the US power distribution around the world to US policy priorities.
The crisis on the border with Belarus and the amendment to the law on border protection
There is a migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, triggered by the authorities in Minsk, accused of waging a hybrid war. The situation became tense when migrants gathered at the border crossing in Kuźnica. Until the end of November, a state of emergency was in force at the border, which meant that journalists and activists from non-governmental organizations, including medics, were not allowed to enter the area.
On December 1, they took effect the provisions of the act on border protection. Its amendment provides for the possibility of introducing a temporary ban on staying in the border zone. Such a ban may be introduced in particularly vulnerable areas at the external border line by way of an ordinance of the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, after consulting the chief commander of the Border Guard. The ban will be exempt from, inter alia, residents or people running a business there. For a specified period of time and under certain conditions, the commander of the Border Guard will be able to allow other people, including journalists, to stay there.
The head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Mariusz Kamiński, issued three ordinances on this basis. In one of them we read that “a temporary ban on staying in a specific area in the border zone adjacent to the state border with the Republic of Belarus is introduced for the period from December 1, 2021 to March 1, 2022”.
Main photo source: Twitter / Mblaszczak