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Canada is our reliable friend and ally: Poland’s Def Min

Poland and Canada have a long history of cooperation. Canada is a reliable friend and ally of Poland and was the first country to support our membership in NATO, said Deputy PM and Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak after a meeting with his Canadian counterpart Anita Anand in Ottawa on Monday.

During a joint press conference, Błaszczak emphasized that our two countries work together to support the security of Europe. He noted that Canadian soldiers are carrying out missions on Polish territory, and our relations have intensified through technical and military cooperation.

MND Anita Anand welcomed her Polish counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, to Ottawa for a bilateral meeting and reaffirmed that both countries will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes:

— National Defence (@NationalDefence) May 8, 2023

“With a war happening right behind our eastern border, I would like to thank Minister Anand for her support for Ukraine,” said Błaszczak. He particularly thanked the Canadian minister for the clear position regarding the provision of Leopard tanks by Canada to Ukraine.

The Minister of National Defense also recalled the words of President Lech Kaczyński, which he uttered in 2008 during the Russian invasion of Georgia. Lech famously Kaczyński said at the time, “We know perfectly well that today it is Georgia, tomorrow Ukraine, the day after tomorrow the Baltic states, and then maybe it’s my country’s turn, Poland.”

“If we do not counteract this, I am afraid that this scenario could become a reality,” Błaszczak noted.

Deputy Prime Minister @mblaszczak🇵🇱: I want to thank @AnitaAnandMP 🇨🇦 for your support for 🇺🇦,especially for your clear position when it comes to the supply of Leopards. Your decision to donate this equipment made other countries decide to follow by forming a tank coalition.

— Poland MOD 🇵🇱 (@Poland_MOD) May 8, 2023

The Minister of National Defense also mentioned that he discussed Polish-Canadian defense cooperation with Anita Anand. He emphasized that Poland and Canada share a common stance on threats. “I am convinced that we will have the opportunity to further strengthen our mutual ties,” said the minister.

Mariusz Błaszczak has been in Canada since Sunday. Previously, the Minister of National Defense visited the United States, where he met, among others, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Canada – a reliable ally in supporting Ukraine

The Defense Ministers of Poland and Canada previously met in October last year, when Anand visited Warsaw. During the meeting, the ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Poland and the Department of National Defense of Canada on defense cooperation. The ministers also had a discussion in January regarding support for Ukraine.

Canada is one of the countries involved in supporting the Ukrainian forces defending themselves against the Russian invasion. Among the declared support are Leopard 2A4 tanks and several hundred Senator armored personnel carriers.

Canada has also pledged to purchase the NASAMS air defense system from Ukraine. Additionally, Canadian soldiers participate in training Ukrainian personnel in Leopard operations at Polish training grounds and provide medical training for them.

Furthermore, Canadian troops are also present on the eastern flank of NATO in Latvia, where Canada is the framework nation for the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battle group. The battle group also includes a Polish contingent in the form of a tank company.

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