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Polish, Slovak FMs praise bilateral cooperation, discuss Ukraine, NATO

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and his Slovakian counterpart Miroslav Wlachovský met on Thursday to discuss bilateral cooperation in the fields of security, energy and infrastructure, as well as the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius in July.

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At a joint conference, Rau praised the Polish-Slovakian relations, calling Bratislava “an important political and economic partner of Poland in the Central European region.”

He pointed out that both countries have similar perceptions of many issues on both the European and international agendas, and they also actively cooperate in various regional formats.

“The current geopolitical cooperation has particularly influenced the further strengthening of our relations and underscores the value of true partnership, including in the neighborhood dimension,” Rau noted.

NATO partnership

The partnership of both countries within NATO was also discussed. “In light of current challenges, our security and defense cooperation is gaining in importance… Slovak-Polish cooperation within NATO is a particular benefit,” the Polish official said.

Today I spoke with the new Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia @MWlachovsky.

I look forward to our future cooperation and wish you all the best on assuming the post.

I also thank the former head of the Slovak MFA Rastislav Káčer for his work on 🇵🇱🇸🇰 relations.

— Zbigniew Rau (@RauZbigniew) May 17, 2023

Rau also emphasized that Poland has made a major contribution to the revision of NATO’s strategy. “In the sphere of concepts, we have achieved a lot, but… this process must be accelerated – this is what we expect at the NATO summit in Vilnius.”

He pointed out that the issue is not only the ability to move NATO troops quickly to threatened regions, but also issues to do with equipment and infrastructure, being much more difficult to relocate quickly.

“So what we expect is a clear acceleration of this process. I don’t want to pretend to be an authority on military matters, but I think we are behind schedule in this regard,” Rau assessed.

💬 FM @RauZbigniew during a joint press statement with Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia 🇸🇰 @MWlachovsky.

— Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇵🇱 (@PolandMFA) May 25, 2023

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He also expressed his hope that a decision will be made soon emphasizing the rapprochement between NATO and Ukraine “in a way that will give Ukrainians not only hope, but also confidence that they will join the Alliance in the foreseeable future.”

Slovakia condemns Russia

Slovakia’s Wlachovský also stressed the importance of bilateral relations between his country and Poland, revealing that during their meeting, the ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine and aid for the war-torn country.

He stressed that Slovakia immediately and unequivocally condemned Russian aggression and decided on political, humanitarian and military support.

The Slovak minister noted that among the topics of conversation were also preparations for the B9 summit in Bratislava in June and the NATO summit in Vilnius in July.

He also stressed the need for unity and solidarity among partners in both the EU and NATO in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine. This unity and solidarity, Wlachovský said, “must not run out,” and support for Ukraine must continue until the end of the war.

Today's talks between FM @RauZbigniew and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia 🇸🇰 @MWlachovsky, were their first joint consultations.

🇵🇱🇸🇰 bilateral issues, regional cooperation and further efforts to support 🇺🇦 were the main topics of the discussion.

— Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇵🇱 (@PolandMFA) May 25, 2023

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Spanish media commends Poland’s attitude

The Polish government’s stubbornness in providing aid to Russia-attacked Ukraine was one of the factors that led to NATO crossing the red lines set by the Kremlin, Spanish media said, pointing out that Warsaw is systematically trying to overcome the West’s fears of increasing Kyiv’s arsenal.

They cited Zbigniew Rau, who “once again called on allies to provide support to attacked Ukraine.”

“The decision to hand over F-16 fighter jets by NATO marks the next stage of the war in Ukraine,” Malaga 24h TV noted.

In turn, the online daily Infodefensa claimed that thanks to the circumstances of the conflict and Poland’s stance, among other things, members of the North Atlantic Alliance are crossing more red lines, set at the beginning of the war by the Russian government.

In turn, the online daily Infodefensa recalled that as early as March 2022, the Polish government proposed to NATO to transfer MIG-29 fighter jets for Ukrainian forces to a North Atlantic Alliance base in Ramstein, Germany, to which the US and Germany did not agree at the time.

Spanish commentators point out that with the prolongation of the war in Ukraine, NATO is increasingly willing to go along with Kyiv today.

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