«It is clear that cooperation between Baltic States and Poland has been positive in the past several years, and that it has large potential for development in the future,» – said Latvia’s Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis during a conversation with his Polish colleague, expressing gratitude to Poland for its decision to send a company of soldiers to Baltic States.
During his work visit throughout 13-14 March, Bergmanis visited Warsaw, where he met with Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz and the deputy head of the National Defence Bureau Jaroslaw Brysiewicz to discuss the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw and the security situation in Eastern Europe.
Officials agreed that the upcoming NATO summit will be important for Baltic States and Poland. «We have high hopes for the upcoming NATO collective decisions,» – said Bergmanis.
The two defence ministers discussed matters related to the enhancement of regional security, increase of the presence of allied forces and other matters related to the NATO summit in Warsaw. Bergmanis welcomed Poland’s contribution into the organization of the summit. He also said Latvia will carefully consider all proposals from Poland for regional security, as confirmed by Defence Minister.
«The history of our countries’ bilateral relations demonstrates close cooperation, especially in the field of regional security. It is clear that cooperation between Poland and Baltic States has been productive in recent years, and there is great potential for future developments,» – said Bergmanis.
In a conversation with Jaroslaw Brysiewicz, Bergmanis expressed satisfaction with the fact that USA continues to increase its military presence in Europe. It is especially important that this military presence increases not only in Central Europe, but also in Baltic States. «I can confirm that we will be prepared for the increase of presence of allied forces,» – said the minister.
During his visit to Warsaw, Bergmanis and his Polish colleagues agreed that Europe’s challenges in regards to the migrant crisis have to be resolved as soon as possible. Nevertheless, countries cannot afford to pay less attention to the situation in Eastern Europe and Ukraine. Participants of the discussion admitted that the conflicts in the East and South are of equal importance. Nevertheless, it does not mean that the international community can afford to pay less attention to the situation in Ukraine. «Latvia is especially concerned about the failure to comply with the Minsk treaty in spite of the agreement reached by the international community,» – admitted Bergmanis, adding that Latvia supports the plan to approve a programme during the Warsaw summit to enhance Ukraine’s defensive capabilities.
In conclusion of the discussion, Defence Minister Bergmanis emphasized that it is far more important to invest in measures aimed to deter external aggression more effectively than it is to fight for the country’s territorial and political integrity later.