Lajcak: We Have Full Understanding for Allies Requesting NATO Bases

Polish Foreign Affairs Minister Witold Waszczykowski (L) with Slovak counterpart Miroslav Lajcak (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 22 (TASR) – Slovakia isn’t requesting NATO military bases on its soil because it doesn’t feel threatened to such a degree, but it does sympathise with other countries that are seeking such a move, said Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak at a press conference with his Polish counterpart Witold Waszczykowski on Monday.

“We have full understanding for our allies who request them [military bases], and we support their efforts,” said Lajcak.

Waszczykowski was on his first visit to Slovakia since he took over his post in November 2015.

Lajcak pointed out that Slovakia fully subscribes to the conclusions of the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, which called for the bolstering of the Alliance’s defences. He considers it important to reinforce NATO’s eastern wing, as it’s necessary to demonstrate that all NATO members can field armies of the same quality.

Waszczykowski warned that NATO’s eastern European flank is exposed to danger due to the unresolved conflict in Ukraine. “We believe that we can boost its security by stationing NATO troops there and installing various defence systems,” he said.

The Polish foreign minister pointed out that his country spends approximately 2 percent of its GDP on defence and expressed the hope that this figure will rise even further. According to him, Warsaw enjoys adequate financial resources for purchasing anti-aircraft systems and helicopters and is also entertaining the purchase of new submarines to patrol the Baltic Sea. “The decision on this will be passed in the foreseeable future,” he stated.