US committed to collective defence, Obama says after meeting Duda
PR dla Zagranicy
The United States is committed to the NATO principle of collective defence, US President Barack Obama said on Friday after meeting Polish President Andrzej Duda ahead of a NATO summit in Warsaw.
Barack Obama and Andrzej Duda in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański
Referring to the principle of collective defence, enshrined in Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty, Obama said: “These are not just words” but also deeds.
He described Poland as one of the pillars of the eastern flank of NATO and said a US armoured brigade would arrive in Europe at the beginning of next year, with its headquarters to be located in Poland.
Obama also thanked Poland for supporting Ukraine's efforts to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of a hostile Russia.
Obama added it is important for Ukraine to receive help and to strengthen its military, political and economic potential.
Referring to Polish domestic politics and an ongoing row over the country's Constitutional Tribunal, Obama said “more work needs to be done”.
“We are very respectful of Poland’s sovereignty and I recognise that parliament is working on legislation to take some important steps, but more work needs to be done. And as your friend and ally, we have urged all parties to work together to sustain Poland’s democratic institutions.”
Poland has been locked in a bitter political row after the conservative Law and Justice introduced sweeping reforms to the Constitutional Tribunal and other institutions, prompting anti-government protests and concern abroad.
Duda said he had “a very good conversation” with Obama. He added: “I believe the summit will have a symbolic dimension and yet further strengthen our strategic partnership."
The Warsaw summit is set to confirm that NATO will deploy four international battalions, one of them American, on a rotating basis to Poland and the three Baltic countries, which fear potential Russian aggression following Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014. (pk)