Lithuania TribuneLithuania, Poland happy with NATO reaction, Warsaw wants NATO base
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 5:01 pm, Posted by editor 0 | Defence & Security, Foreign Affairs, Poland
The Lithuanian and Polish Prime Ministers met in Brussels on Wednesday and welcomed NATO’s increased activity in the region. Meanwhile Warsaw expressed hope the Alliance would step up its role with a permanent base in Poland.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said NATO has showed it is not indifferent to what is happening in Ukraine after Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea.
“We see that certain military exercises are taking place and that shows NATO members are really not indifferent to the changes that have taken place in Ukraine and what is happening in the world. And that commits us to more communication and consultation,” Butkevičius told journalists in Brussels.
Asked about NATO’s permanent bases, the Lithuanian prime minister said “the Alliance’s members should discuss the issue and make decisions.”
Meanwhile Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said his country hopes a permanent military base would be established in the country in the nearest future.
“Poland has for several years now wanted such NATO structure to be established in the Polish territory and it seems that only treaty commitments are not enough for the presence of the feeling of security. It seems that in the nearest future it is necessary and today it is obvious that our borders – of Poland and Lithuania – are EU borders with a territory where tension today is higher than in recent years, and I believe that step by step our arguments will be heard by NATO,” Tusk said.
The Polish prime minister also stressed that US Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Warsaw and Vilnius and the US’ decision to send extra fighter jets to Lithuania demonstrated the allies’ commitments.