Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
2nd January, 2016
Consultations between Russia and NATO makes sense in the case of alignment of the level of security in central and eastern Europe. This opinion was expressed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Witold Waszczykowski in the evening program on a local television channel TVN24.
“We are not against maintaining privileged relations between Russia and NATO. Hopefully in a few months a meeting between Russia and NATO will take place”, – he said. “From Poland there is no protest, but only support.”
According to him, “Such meetings and consultations have sense, if Russia offers a way out of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, NATO will satisfy our ambitions and will align the level of security in our part of Europe”. “Therefore, this meeting between Russia and NATO could take place in February-March next year” – said Waszczykowski.
Answering the question about the possibility of placing in the territory of Poland permanent NATO bases, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic expressed the view that it was feasible. “It’s real,” he said. “Some of our allies don’t want to use the term “permanent bases”. They think it’s a confrontational term for understanding society, as it is related to the period of the cold war,” the Minister said.
“However, any presence, which will provide us comfort, stability and security, at the same time will send a signal to the Russians that this is not a confrontational presence being made. Such solutions do exist,” he added. “There’s room for debate – whether it is an offensive weapon or not, which can really be a problem for some neighbors, or the presence of a defensive character”, – said the head of the Polish foreign Ministry.
Referring to bilateral relations between Russia and Poland, Waszczykowski asserted that in this “ice age” the Russian side is to blame. “If we’re talking about some of the problems … we created them, and the keys to correcting the situation lay in Moscow. We certainly maintained contact with the Russians, in the coming weeks we scheduled political consultations at the working level with the participation of Deputy Ministers. We will maintain these contacts,” he said.