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Munich, 59th Security Conference. Summary of Saturday, the most important topics, statements and declarations

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Further support for Ukraine, strengthening NATO’s eastern flank and the need to “account” with Vladimir Putin – these were the main topics discussed during the second day of the Munich Security Conference. Poland was represented by President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Here is a summary of Saturday’s most important speeches and declarations.

The Munich Security Conference runs from Friday to Sunday. It is a prestigious forum for discussing current problems of international security among the heads of state and government, foreign and defense ministers, parliamentarians and representatives of the media and science.

This year’s 59th edition is the second in a row in which representatives of the Russian Federation do not participate.

Support for Ukraine

International leaders emphasized the need and readiness to support Ukraine, which has been fighting Russian aggression since February 24 last year. NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg noted on Saturdaythat the international community must maintain and “strengthen support for Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.” He noted that Ukraine must “receive what it needs to survive as an independent country.”

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Stoltenberg: we must give Ukraine what it needs to winReuters

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke in a similar tone. He called for “double support for Ukraine”. – We need a military strategy for Ukraine to gain a decisive advantage on the battlefield to win the war, and a political strategy to win the peace. To win the war, Ukraine needs more artillery, armored vehicles and air defences, the British prime minister stressed. He assured that “in the next few months Ukraine will receive as much support as throughout 2022.”

Sunak: Now is the time to double our military support to Ukraine

Sunak: Now is the time to double our military support to Ukraine TVN24

That the support of the West will continue, US Vice President Kamala Harris also spokeechoed the words of the US president Joe Bidenthat the United States “will support Ukraine as long as necessary.”

– We cannot live in a world where states do not respect rules and norms. If Putin succeeds, it may encourage other authoritarian countries to do the same. Therefore, Ukraine will continue to be supported by the transatlantic alliance, Harris said.

Head of German diplomacy Annalena Baerbock she assured that support would continue until Russia stopped attacking Ukraine. She noted that a “just and lasting peace” will be possible only when Russia “ends the bombing of Ukraine and withdraws all its forces from Ukrainian territory.”

The question of planes for Kiev

Head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Diplomacy Dmytro Kuleba emphasized on Saturdaythat seven types of weapons are needed to effectively defend and liberate Ukraine. He indicated that he was referring to anti-tank weapons, artillery, tanks, multiple rocket launchers, long-range missiles, air defense systems and aircraft. Until now, Ukraine has not received only the latter. – I would venture to say that Ukraine will get planes. It’s a matter of time and procedure – said Kuleba. Ukraine’s partners are hesitating over the supply of aircraft while promising tanks to Kiev and talks about longer-range missile systems.

Dmytro Kuleba o "the best security guarantee"

Dmytro Kuleba on “the best security guarantee”Reuters

What machines are we talking about? Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki noted that that – as far as Poland is concerned – for now there is no question of handing over F-16 fighters. – Poland’s position is clear. We can be part of a broader coalition, and that’s basically not with regard to our state-of-the-art fighters, which we don’t have enough yet. We have 48 F-16 fighters, we have ordered new F-35 fighters, even more modern, even better armed, we have also ordered FA-50s from Korea. Only the delivery of these fighters will secure the sky over Poland to a sufficient degree, he assessed.

Russia, its allies and “deepening relations with Beijing”

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday said:United States in a way formally stated that Russia had committed crimes against humanity“There is no doubt about it, these are crimes against humanity,” she said.

– Let’s all agree: on behalf of all victims, both known and unknown, justice must be done. (…) If Putin thinks he can wait us out, he is very wrong. Time is not on his side, Harris said.

She added about “disturbing information” about the deepening of relations between Russia and China since the outbreak of war. She stressed that any steps China takes to support Russia’s deadly war will only lead to even greater killings and “undermine the rules-based order.”

At the same time, she pointed out that they are intensifying the tragedy of Ukraine North Korea and Iran, which support the Putin regime by donating arms.

Harris: We are concerned that China has deepened its relationship with Russia

Harris: We are concerned that China has deepened its relationship with RussiaTVN24/Reuters

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, said in Munich that Vladimir Putin “has to be accounted for”. – This is a huge strategic failure for him. Since 2014, when he took over the Crimea and part of the Donbass, Putin sees that this is all he tried to prevent. comes true. Ukraine is united (…), our unity is stronger than ever, he stressed.

“Look what Putin has done to his own country. We have some 200,000 Russian victims in Ukraine, (…), we have over a million Russians who have fled the country because they do not want to be part of this war, Blinken pointed out.

Blinken: look what Putin has done to his own country

Blinken: look what Putin has done to his own countryReuters

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assessed that “Putin is not interested in peace”. He also warned that if Putin wins war in Ukraine, it will be a signal to him and other authoritarian regimes that they can get what they want by force. He also stressed that the February 24 attack showed how dangerous it is to do business with “dangerous regimes”:

“Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has made us vulnerable,” he stressed. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid similar dependencies when dealing with China and other authoritarian regimes, he warned.

Ruslan Stefanchuk, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine, thanked the EU for another sanction against Putin’s regime. He said on Saturday that “soon we will see the tenth package of sanctions.” – We would like to thank our partners for their activity in the sanctions policy. But if Russia still has the economic ability to continue the war, it means that the sanctions are not working somewhere, Stefanczuk noted.

The role and security of Poland

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki emphasized at Saturday’s press conference that the key is to contain and deter Russia. He emphasized that NATO must implement its announcements made in Madrid, it must build adequate rapid reaction and deterrence forces. As the Prime Minister said, he discussed this with, among others, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, but also with other leaders.

He reported that he had spoken with the Estonian Prime Minister about “constructing a coalition of countries that would jointly produce ammunition “in the largest range possible”.

When asked when decisions on joint production and purchase of ammunition in the European Union could be taken and how many countries currently support this solution, the Prime Minister said that at the last meeting of the European Council “only a few” countries were ready to cooperate in this matter, but “today more and more countries are now agreeing. He estimated that this is currently about half of the EU countries.

Morawiecki: we are constructing a coalition of countries that would be ready to jointly produce ammunition

Morawiecki: we are constructing a coalition of countries that would be ready to jointly produce ammunitionTVN24

The Prime Minister also informed that he had talked with the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to build a hub for the repair and modernization of Leopard tanks in Poland, which will soon be transferred to Ukraine.

Meeting of prime ministers

On Saturday, Mateusz Morawiecki met with the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who during the conversation “committed to further support Poland’s security.”

“The leaders welcomed the unity of purpose of the UK and Poland and the increasingly close cooperation as we stand side by side to help Ukraine and strengthen European security. The Prime Minister (Sunak) has committed to continuing to support Poland’s security, including by deploying the Sky air defense system Saber and through British troops stationed in Poland as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, the leaders discussed working with allies to provide continued strategic military support to the defense of Ukraine,” Downing Street said in a statement.

The Role and Future of NATO

International leaders devoted much space to the issue of Western integration and NATO consolidation after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Among other things, she talked about it US Vice President Kamala Harriswhich noted that prior to February 24, 2022, NATO’s effectiveness was undermined:

– Many at the time wondered how we would all respond. Many wondered if Russia could be stopped, if NATO would unite, if NATO would split, if Ukraine would be prepared. Today, a year later, we know. Kyiv still stands. Russia is weakened, the Transatlantic Alliance is stronger than ever, and most importantly, the spirit of the Ukrainian nation lives on.

Kamala Harris: Russia is weakened, the Alliance stronger than ever

Kamala Harris: Russia is weakened, the Alliance stronger than everTVN24/Reuters

On Saturday, the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, also spoke about this. He emphasized that “Putin resurrected the ideology of the 19th century, where it was normal to invade other countries” and only on February 24 “some in the West lost the illusion that Russia can be changed through trade and cooperation.”

He pointed out that it is possible to deter Russia only by strengthening its defense capabilities. “That’s the only right assumption, and that’s what we’re doing at NATO right now,” Levits said.

Representatives of NATO’s eastern flank – including Poland – also commented on the fact that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will end his term as scheduled in October. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are working on “developing a common candidate”.

China calls for peace, Moldova calls for ‘growing threat’

Representatives of China are also present in Munich. On Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke about the war in Ukraine. He appealed – especially to “friends in Europe” – to “think about what efforts can be made to stop the war.”

“China will present its position on the resolution of the crisis in Ukraine in a document that states that the territorial integrity of all countries must be respected,” Wang said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang YiPAP/EPA/JOHANNES SIMON / POOL

Moldovan President Maia Sandu called on Western countries to provide her country with urgent support in the field of air defense in connection with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increased threat in this region of Europe.

“When we see what Russia is doing in Ukraine, we understand that Moldova’s neutral status will not protect it from a military invasion,” Sandu said, adding that Chisinau “must be part of a new European security architecture.”

Main photo source: PAP/Jakub Szymczuk/KPRP

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