Strong Polish-British relations serve Europe's security - Soloch
Head of Poland's National Security Bureau (BBN) Pawel Soloch, on a visit to the United Kingdom, has told PAP that strong Polish-British relations "promote Great Britain's participation in Europe's defence system, also after it has left the EU".
Minister P. Soloch has been on a working visit to the United Kingdom since Sunday, a mission he termed as "stronger involvement of the presidential centre" in closer cooperation between the two countries, which started at the international level in London last November.
On Monday, after meetings with Sir Alan Duncan, the UK's Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, and Sir Mark Lyall Grant, National Security Adviser to PM Theresa May, minister Soloch spoke of similarity of interests of both countries within NATO and the arrival of British soldiers in Poland as part of strengthening the Alliance's eastern flank.
He pointed out that Polish-British relations were gaining special importance given the UK's imminent exit from the EU and the ongoing strengthening of NATO's eastern flank. Apart from framework battalions deployed in four Baltic states, an additional 150 British soldiers will station in Orzysz, north-east Poland.
Pawel Soloch said his London talks also focused on reforms of NATO command structures and ways of encouraging allies to raise their defence spending. Poland is one of the NATO members which meet the alliance's recommendation of 2 percent of GDP defence spending.
A separate Polish-British treaty, as announced by PM Theresa May, is being prepared by the UK's defence ministry and "will be ready by the end of the year". In a sense it will draw upon a similar treaty between Great Britain and France, the BBN head added.
London is also Warsaw's key ally in its criticism of Russia's activities because they "pose threat to the security of the Baltic, North, Black and even Mediterranean seas".
Asked by the British side whether Russia tried to interfere with the internal affairs of Poland and the Baltic states, Soloch said that Poland was less affected by such activities as NATO's presence was widely accepted in Polish society, which had no minorities that would oppose this presence.
Still, there are attempts to stoke tensions in Polish-Ukrainian relations, mainly as regards difficult issues in the history of both countries, the BBN head noted. "Both sides, Polish and Ukrainian, should remain vigilant as there are numerous indications (...) that the tension plays into Russia's hands".