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President lists Poland’s priorities for NATO’s Vilnius summit

Polish President Andrzej Duda presented Poland’s key expectations for the upcoming NATO summit, including a stronger presence of the alliance on the eastern flank and encouraging allies to increase their defense spending.

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Duda made the announcement in an address at the London Defense Conference in the UK capital on Tuesday as he referred to NATO’s next summit that will take place in Vilnius on July 11-12.

“The situation across the region forces us, like never before, to join efforts in strengthening the North Atlantic Alliance, which needs to deter the aggressor effectively,” Duda said in reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Of key importance in this respect will be the Vilnius summit decisions.”

Poland’s number one priority, he said, is to strengthen the defense potential of NATO’s eastern flank by increasing the number of NATO troops deployed there.

Secondly, the Polish President argued for bolstering NATO response forces in line with the decisions made at the previous summit, held in Madrid in 2022, by increasing the headcount of troops from 40,000 to 300,000.

Thirdly, the President said, Poland advocates the creation of a multi-corps land forces component in Poland.

And the fourth priority for Poland is to encourage all NATO allies to increase their defense spending, Duda said.

“And let me stress – all allies,” he said. “We must bear in mind that NATO forces are not just the U.S. troops. It’s our joint potential contributed by each and every member of the alliance.”

In reference to the ongoing war in Ukraine, President Duda stressed Polish efforts to assist Kyiv and lobby on the international stage on its behalf.

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He also said, that following the Ukrainian victory in the war, the world will need to help Ukraine rebuild, but it must also ensure that those responsible for this act of aggression face justice for the war crimes committed.

The Polish President moreover said that the current precarious international situation requires Poland to be active not only in regional affairs but on a global stage as well, and stressed the need for dialogue that will include the countries of the so-called Global South, especially African countries. He believes that Warsaw may play a significant part in this dialogue, as Poland is a European country that is not burdened with having been a colonial power.

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