Joining NATO 20 years ago was historic moment: Polish president

Joining NATO 20 years ago definitively underlined Poland’s emergence from the Russian sphere of influence, President Andrzej Duda said on Monday.

He was speaking during a visit to the Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin, north-western Poland, as the country marks the 20th anniversary of becoming a member of the Western military alliance.

“Poland joining the alliance finally confirmed Poland’s sovereignty and independence, as well as its departure from the Russian sphere of influence and entrance to the Western geopolitical zone,” Duda said.

The presidents of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia will meet in Prague on Tuesday as the first three countries mark exactly two decades since they became members of NATO.

Slovakia joined the alliance in 2004.

The prime ministers and defence ministers of the four Visegrad Group countries marked the anniversary in Warsaw on Sunday.

The Visegrad Group is a regional cooperation platform that brings together Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

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