President: Transatlantic Russia strategy needed
The fundaments of our security have been seriously weakened, the post-Cold-War peace dividend has run its length, President Bronislaw Komorowski said Sunday in Brussels at a conference hosted by the German Marshall Fund.
Bronislaw Komorowski stressed the need for a new transatlantic strategy towards Russia and noted that the enforcement of decisions made at NATO's recent Newport summit was a reliability test for the alliance.
Ties between Europe and North America should not be limited to security, but ought to extend to economic cooperation, the president said, and in this context appealed for a "new Marshall Plan" for Ukraine.
Commenting the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, Bronislaw Komorowski called it the "first forceful annexation of a European country's territory since World War Two" and accused Russia of "throwing a challenge to European order and security". He further stressed that the Ukraine conflict "inspired thoughts about a reconsideration of the West's entire policy towards Russia".
President Komorowski recalled that when Poland joined the Western world, many believed this to signify "the universal triumph of liberal democracy and peaceful cooperation between states in a globalised world". Today, however, the fundaments of peace have been seriously weakened, he said.
"Today we see (...) that the fundaments of our security have been seriously weakened. We must state this openly: the post-Cold-War peace dividend has run its length", Bronislaw Komorowski said.
According to Komorowski the new threat posed by the Ukraine conflict called on the West to adopt a new transatlantic strategy involving both the EU and NATO. In this context he reminded about NATO's 2014 Newport summit and the resulting decision to form a rapid-response military spearhead.
Bronislaw Komorowski also stressed the need for the NATO members to raise their military budgets to at least 2 percent GDP, and reminded that Russia's defence spending in the past years stood at 4 percent GDP.
Noting that Poland's defence budget reached the 2 percent GDP mark already in 2001, Komorowski said he hoped for a similar effort by the other NATO countries and warned that "reductions in security today may mean loss of independence tomorrow".
Referring to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US, Bronislaw Komorowski said the agreement was a major move towards reinforcing the West and "a project of truly civilisational dimensions". (PAP)