NATO “rapid and effective adaptation to the Russian threat in 2016”

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau

 Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau stressed that European countries would not be able to defend themselves without the help of the United States (US). This was conveyed by Rau on Tuesday (21/6/2022) regarding the European security situation and the Russia-Ukraine war. 

Rau stated that NATO allies in Europe should take more responsibility for their own security. "Poland feels the involvement of the United States in European security as a fundamental condition of peace in Europe," Rau told the ambassadorial forum in Poland as quoted by PAP via AP. 

Rau called Washington's leadership in NATO an important decision for "rapid and effective adaptation to the Russian threat in 2016." At that time, through US initiatives, NATO increased its military presence in the Eastern European wing. The policy was taken in response to Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and Moscow's support for Ukrainian separatists in the Donbass region. 

Rau also said Washington had once again shown its leadership after Russia's invasion of Ukraine was launched on February 24. After the Russian invasion, the US deployed more troops to Poland. Washington has also made the country an arms aid hub for Ukraine.

 "The current crisis (Russia-Ukraine war) clearly shows that without the United States, Europe cannot defend itself," said the 67-year-old politician. Furthermore, Rau expressed his gratitude to the US, but at the same time emphasized that NATO members in Europe must start to "take full responsibility."

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