The two-day Warsaw NATO Summit began today (8 July) in Poland’s capital. 28 national delegations representing all of the alliance’s members will attend, as well as from 26 associated states, delegations of the World Bank, NATO headquarters, the UN and the EU.
As Polish President Andrzej Duda and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg repeated, the meeting will focus on securing peace against the threats coming from NATO’s eastern and southern neighborhoods.
“Strong defense and strong deterrence is the core task of NATO,” said Stoltenberg. “We will make important decisions at the Summit. We will decide about the presence in Poland and 3 Baltic states of the 4 new battalions. They will be multinational and robust. We will thus show that attack on one of them will be the attack against the whole alliance.”
The principle of collective defence has been at the heart of NATO written in its core in the Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. In short, NATO members concur that an armed attack against one or more of them will be considered an attack against them all, and consequently will lead to allied defence.
It was triggered for the first time after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States. But NATO members, especially those from Eastern Europe, fear that NATO will not be able to react adequately quickly if one of them is attacked by Russia flexing its muscles.
Thus to address the need of “life free from fear and uncertainly”, Duda emphasised that NATO has to show unity, solidarity and determination to achieve the goal of granting the feeling of safety to its people.
“Donbas, Crimea, terrorism, unprecedented migration’s level rise – those are the threats we have not known to such an extent. Threats to which we should respond together. We say no to regionalization of security. As security is not a commodity. It is a value deserved by everyone,” – Poland’s president continued thus underlining that Poland and all NATO’s states should feel that Article 5 is not only a theory.
NATO leaders meet today (8 July) for a landmark summit in Warsaw to send an uncompromising message to a resurgent Russia while trying to contain the fallout from Britain’s dramatic vote to quit the European Union.
Safe NATO neighborhood
A significant portion of fear is caused by Russian actions, in Ukraine. However, according to NATO’s head, the alliance needs to “continue to strive for meaningful and constructive dialogue with Moscow to decrease risks and increase predictability”.
NATO should also focus on finding the effective strategy to achieve stability of its neighbouring states, as “if they are stable, we are secure”.
Furthermore, NATO will expand its presence in the Mediterranean, and in Aegean Sea, cooperating with the EU, Turkey, and Greece.
Leaders meeting in Warsaw for a NATO summit this week will be surrounded by the ghosts of Communism as they endorse the defence alliance’s biggest military buildup since the Cold War in response to a newly resurgent Russia.
NATO and the EU
Another major issue of focus are EU-NATO relations. “Today (at 12:42 AM) I will sign a declaration with 2 presidents of the EU: Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker.
This document will be an important political platform for further strengthening of relations between the two, taking the increasingly important challenges evolving around us. It will facilitate working out the answers to the hybrid and cyber threats, also in the maritime field,” said Stoltenberg, who listed the further major points in the summit’s agenda.
“Homo homini lupus est” wrote Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan. That’s why we need a dialogue based on the law and predictability, but also on our strength and consciousness of this strength experienced by all NATO member states,” President Duda said.
Stoltenberg added that the Warsaw NATO summit will be “a landmark summit, which results will confirm that Europe and North America stand together to face today’s threats”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Moscow her “outstretched hand for dialogue” today (7 July), a day before NATO leaders meet in Warsaw to cement a new deterrent against what they see as an emboldened Russia.