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Polish and Croatian MODs discuss cooperation and visit NATO soldiers

We are showing our solidarity and unity within NATO, Deputy Prime Minister, head of the Ministry of Defence Mariusz Błaszczak said on Monday after meeting soldiers from the eFP (Enhanced Forward Presence) Alliance initiative, stationed in Poland, together with his Croatian counterpart Mario Banožić.

The ministers’ also conducted talks focused on defense cooperation and strengthening interoperability within NATO, as well as additional support for Ukraine.

A meeting between Deputy Prime Minister @mblaszczak 🇵🇱 and Defense Minister of🇭🇷Mario #Banožić has begun in #BemowoPiskie. Topics of discussion include bilateral cooperation, strengthening interoperability within #NATO, and support for Ukraine 🇺🇦.
– – [email protected][email protected]_Poland_eFP

— Poland MOD 🇵🇱 (@Poland_MOD) February 27, 2023

“It is very important that within NATO we show our solidarity, our unity. We are grateful that Croatian soldiers are on Polish soil, that together with Polish soldiers, with soldiers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Romania, they train every day and thus build the interoperability of the North Atlantic Alliance forces,” the Polish defense minister said.

He added that this shows Croatia’s sensitivity and solidarity towards the countries on NATO’s eastern flank.

Minister Błaszczak pointed out that his discussion with his Croatian counterpart revolved around cooperation in NATO and the EU, especially in view of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, “a very important event from the point of view of security.”

In turn, the Croatian defense minister emphasized the importance of joint NATO exercises, as they greatly increase the skills of the participants in a short period of time.

He also said that his country will continue to support Kyiv. “The Croatian government has been providing political, financial, medical, and military assistance from the very beginning, we will continue to do so as long as it is needed,” Banožić stated.

Defense Minister of 🇭🇷 Mario #Banožić: I greatly thank you for all that you do for our soldiers. Thank you for the cooperation and joint exercises. I wish everyone that we are well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead and that we can handle them.

— Poland MOD 🇵🇱 (@Poland_MOD) February 27, 2023

Unofficialy: Croatia ups Ukrainian aid

Croatian media reported that the country will hand over to Ukraine 14 Mi-8 helicopters previously used by the armed forces. The machines are expected to be ready for transport within 10 days.

Seven helicopters are to be sent by land and another seven by air. All of them are supposed to go through Poland before eventually getting to Ukraine, the Croatian daily newspaper “Jutarnji list” reported on Saturday, quoting its sources.

Croatia will send promised 14 helicopters to Ukraine in 10 days—media

12 MI8 MTV-1 & 2 MI8 T helicopters will be sent. The Croatian Government has classified all information on military aid but Prime Minister promised in November to send 14 helicopters.

— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) February 26, 2023

All information regarding Croatian military aid to Ukraine is considered secret, hence no official is able to confirm these reports, the newspaper noted.

Enhanced Forward Presence

Poland is participating in NATO’s eFP (Enhanced Forward Presence) initiative both as one of the host countries and as a delegating country. It also established a multinational divisional command in Elbląg, which coordinates the activities of all eFP groups.

The main force of the eFP is made up of four NATO multinational battalion battle groups, deployed in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Each group was formed by a framework state, which are respectively: the United States, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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