BRUSSELS (TASS): The Polish authorities do not see a direct military threat on the Polish-Belarusian border and no reason to use the fourth article of the NATO treaty. This was stated on Thursday by the President of Poland Andrzej Duda at a joint press conference with the Secretary General of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg.
“We, of course, with the NATO Secretary General and allies take into account the possibility of using the fourth article, but we want to use it only when the situation requires it. Now the situation does not meet the qualifications of the fourth article. There is no immediate military threat, there is no military attack on which – or a neighboring country,” he said.
“We remember the fourth article, we are at the stage of consultations, but, in our opinion, there are no grounds now to use the fourth article,” he stated.
At the same time, according to Duda, there is a “dangerous development of the situation” on the Polish-Belarusian border and “nothing indicates a decrease in tension on the border”, which “can continue for many months.” “I can say that over the past three days, we have recorded more than 750 such attempts to illegally cross the Polish border, which are essentially related to attacks on the Polish border. This is a significant figure,” he said.
The fourth article of the North Atlantic Treaty provides for the convening of the NATO Council for consultations if one of the countries of the alliance believes that there is a threat to its security.
The Polish authorities previously informed that they are discussing with the allies the launch of this mechanism in connection with the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border.
Polish President Andrzej Duda proposed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to expand the alliance’s military presence on the eastern flank in light of the situation in Ukraine.
“I proposed to the Secretary General to increase the readiness of NATO forces in this part of Europe on the eastern flank of NATO,” he said and, in particular, suggested “to consider expanding the military presence there.” Among the necessary measures, Duda named “strengthening strategic observation”, including Air Policing missions, “strengthening the readiness of NATO units on the eastern flank.”
According to Duda, this is necessary “in order to show all possible aggressors” that the alliance “is not only ready for defense, but also for protecting the security of allies with whom it cooperates, including Ukraine.”
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