Brussels – AFP
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda that “NATO” is ready to provide support to Poland “if necessary”, but that Warsaw is so far able to manage the crisis of migrant flows from Belarus. President Andrzej Duda acknowledged: “We are neither under attack nor facing a direct military threat. Therefore, there is no justification for invoking Article 4 of the treaty.”
Under this article, NATO members can request a meeting of the Alliance Council on “any question relating to the security of a member state”. Stoltenberg explained: Poland has succeeded so far in managing the problem without direct NATO intervention.
He added: We are following the developments of the situation and are ready to provide the necessary support if Poland requests it. The Polish president denounced the “civilian attack” organized on the Polish border with migrants pushed by Belarusian soldiers and “the reinforcement of the Russian military presence in the region.”
He stressed that “there is no doubt that these various actions are coordinated and NATO must be more vigilant because it is responsible for the security of allies.”
Andrzej Duda called for a temporary strengthening of the NATO military presence on the eastern side by “deploying additional units and strengthening the missions of the air police.”
For his part, Stoltenberg stressed: “We remain vigilant. We condemn the actions of Belarus, which inhumanely exploit migrants to put pressure on countries in the alliance, and we are ready to help them.”
On the other hand, Stoltenberg renewed his offer to hold a dialogue with Moscow by holding a meeting of the North Atlantic Council and Russia to ease tensions and avoid any incident after the reinforcement of the Russian military presence on the border with Ukraine, and expressed his regret “because Russia did not accept this offer.”