: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Polish president appeals for NATO consolidation, urges Russia to withdraw from Crimea


President of Poland Andrzej Duda appealed once more for a greater NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe during an address on Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, Radio Poland reported.
His appeal, on the first day of a three-day visit, comes in the lead-up to a NATO summit in Warsaw this July, according to Radio Poland.
”For the first time in Europe since World War II, a change in borders has occurred by force,” Duda said, referring to the Russian Federation`s annexation of Crimea.
”Thus, there are serious concerns that the time of peace in our part of Europe is over,” he continued.
”If we claim that NATO is alive, then NATO must respond to what is happening,” he said.
”We want the actual military presence of NATO, with soldiers coming to Central and Eastern Europe on a permanent basis.”
Duda argued that ”we should demand” that Russia withdraws from Crimea.
The focus of Duda`s visit is the 4th Nuclear Security Summit, which is being attended by representatives of 56 countries. Russia has declined to send a representative.
Duda has no meeting scheduled with U.S. President Barack Obama, a factor which the Polish government has tried to play down the importance of, but which has inspired much debate in Poland, in the light of Poland`s constitutional crisis.

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