Wystąpienie Szefa BBN podczas konferencji „Road to Warsaw Security Forum”
Wystąpienie szefa BBN ministra Pawła Solocha podczas konferencji „Road to Warsaw Security Forum” 18 listopada 2020 r. Biuro Bezpieczeństwa Narodowego jest partnerem strategicznym wydarzenia organizowanego przez Fundację im. Kazimierza Pułaskiego oraz German Marshall Fund of the United States.
It is my privilege to welcome you cordially on the second day of the “Road to Warsaw Security Forum”. I am very happy that Warsaw is again one of the main venues of security reflection in Europe. The National Security Bureau remains fully committed to Warsaw Security Forum as its strategic partner.
Let me address special words of appreciation to: Katarzyna and Zbigniew Pisarski and the whole Pulaski Foundation, who have managed to gather, in the middle of the pandemic, a wide group of distinguished experts representing governments, academics, NGOs and think-tanks.
Today, a number of timely and important issues for global security will be discussed. From the future of NATO, through the dynamic situation in Belarus and geopolitical aims pursued by Russia to the foreign policy of the United States after the elections.
it remains the key organization providing security, first and foremost to the Allies, but also to the partners with whom we share the same values. Our overarching goal is keeping unity. Most importantly, unity in response to traditional threats in all their forms. I am alluding for instance to the fact that the threat posed by Russia emerges also as disinformation, hybrid or cyber one. Secondly, we need a common assessment and unified actions to counter unprecedented new challenges, unknown by the Alliance in previous decades. I am thinking of the growing global role of China and in particular of joint actions to tackle the most recent threat, posed for several months now by the COVID-19 pandemic. We need unity in this respect not just to defeat the pandemic itself but to develop a common vision of NATO which will embrace the expectations of all its members, allowing for a swift and adequate response to the full spectrum of threats.
On Nato – In this very context, it is welcome that NATO uses its resources and cooperation channels to fight the pandemic. Just to give one example, Poland deployed its medical teams to Italy and the United States. It also provided material aid to fight COVID-19 in Western Balkans and the Middle East. Recently NATO has supported Albania and the Czech Republic by donating to each of them 60 ventilators from its stockpile.
Nonetheless, we need to bear in mind that NATO`s priority consist in the successful conclusion of the Alliance`s political and military adaptation. It should lay the foundation for a strong Alliance built on a 360 degree principle.
Not surprisingly, Poland`s main concern is an effective deterrence and defence of NATO in the Eastern flank. A lot has been achieved in this regard but still more remains to be done. Russia is still better prepared than NATO for conventional warfare in our part of Europe. That is why we need to bring to a successful end all the adaptation initiatives, including the enhanced Forward Presence, NATO Response Force, Readiness Initiative, the Concept of Deterrence and Defence of the Euroatlantic Area and the response to the threats posed by Russia’s missiles. We should also ensure that our ambitious plans on hybrid, cyber or disruptive technologies contribute to deterrence and defence.
NATO’s cooperation with partners will remain of vital importance. It should meet both, their needs and expectations as well as ours. It is for example in our common interest to assist Ukraine and Georgia in increasing their resilience to the threat posed by Russia. The same goes for Sweden and Finland. In addition, both these partners could enrich NATO deterrence and defense to the mutual benefit.
On Belarus – its citizens have made a choice – they want to live in a democratic country and decide about their future on their own. This is one of the founding principles underpinning our Euro-Atlantic community. The fate of Belarusians is not entirely in our hands but we can do a lot to make their dreams come true. What we can see in the streets of Minsk now, resembles what was going on in Poland forty years ago. We still understand that struggle for democracy and remember how instrumental international assistance can be on this path.
The EU should play an important role in this regard – for example through ensuring coherence of the efforts of its individual members, by sending a clear signal of the readiness to advance partnership with a democratic Belarus or being resolved and united vis-á-vis Lukashenko on the need to respect the will of the Belarusian people.
I hope that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is with us today. If that is the case, please accept, Madam, the assurances of our highest consideration (also on behalf of President Duda) for your resolve to turn Belarus into a democratic state.
On Russia, unfortunately it remains the main proof that the old, conventional threats did not disappear and often have the same source as the new ones, like hybrid or cyber. Moscow still poses the main military threat to NATO and constitutes the point of reference in its adaptation efforts. Russia is enhancing the number and complexity of the means it uses to destabilize the domestic situation in the NATO and EU countries. Our strategic partners like, Sweden or Ukraine, are also in the spotlight. Russia’s plans to export instability throughout the world to reach its political objectives are ever more ambitious. We can see negative effects of Russian influence in the Middle East, Africa or South America.
As a result, our ability to contain Russia becomes increasingly important for the security of the entire Euro-Atlantic area. We need to be united and resolute in this endeavour. We should definitely be ready for a dialogue with Russia – as long as we show our disappointment and demonstrate readiness to draw conclusions from Russia’s behaviour.
On the transatlantic bond – its good shape is a precondition for us to effectively address the entire spectrum of threats and challenges. Both sides of the Atlantic should show mutual empathy and understanding for their sensitivities. Europe as a whole should be ready to invest more in the Euro-Atlantic security. America for its part should be aware that for some Allies increasing the defence spending is a long- term process, challenging from the political and public opinion`s point of view. Poland already meets the 2 percent benchmark and plans to reach 2.5 in 2030. The National Security Strategy signed by President Duda in May this year recommends achieving that goal six years earlier, in 2024.
US presence in Europe is key for ensuring an effective transatlantic link. It should be seen through the lens of a credible NATO's deterrence and defence. This is exactly how Poland perceives its bilateral agreements with America, paving the way for increased presence of US troops on our soil. They are aimed at making cooperation between our states and other countries of the region more effective in countering threats to our common security.
I hope all of us in Europe wish the forthcoming US Administration all the best in their future efforts to reinvigorate the transatlantic bond and are equally committed to that endeavour.
Today’s world is full of serious challenges for our common transatlantic security system. I am glad that Warsaw is once again the center of discussions about them. Let me conclude by thanking you for your attention and wish you fruitful discussions.