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Polish Briefing 18 March, 2019 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Polish Briefing: 20 years ago Russia was a potential threat to NATO, now it’s real


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What goes on in Poland on the 18th of March.

20 years ago Russia was a potential threat to NATO, now it’s real

Twenty years ago, when Poland entered NATO, the threats were different than those present. At that time, Russia was a potential threat, but it becomes a real one, for which one must be ready – Grzegorz Małecki, former head of the Foreign Intelligence Agency, and now president of the Foundation of the Institute of Security and Strategy told the BiznesAlert.pl portal.

– The fact that Russia is a serious threat today can be seen on the example of events of the last decade, such as the war in Georgia or the illegal annexation of Crimea and the support of separatists in the Ukraine. Putin’s Russia is a different Russia than Yeltsin’s. The Kremlin has broadened the spectrum of influence and refined its impact tools. One of the areas of Russia’s confrontation with the west has been access to energy resources. It causes that in the whole strategy of the North Atlantic Alliance, security begins to be understood much more broadly and becomes more complex. Energy security has become a component of NATO security as a whole – said Colonel Grzegorz Małecki.

There is no doubt that by purchasing raw materials, oil, gas or coal from Russia, we co-finance its arms expenses. Their goal is, in turn, building military capabilities, based on the assumption that NATO countries are a potential threat. – Currently, there is no golden measure that would allow ruling out support for Russian arms by purchasing raw materials. The only currently known action that helps to neutralize threats in the energy sector from Russia is diversification, and thus becoming independent from energy supplies from one direction. Many Western countries, such as Spain and Portugal, can be examples of how to conduct a sustainable energy policy. It involves the supply of energy from more than one direction. We can not completely cut off supplies from Russia today, but we can reduce our dependence on it, especially as we agree that Moscow is a dubious business partner for us – said Małecki.

Asked how to consider NATO security in the context of diversification, he said that the Alliance understands that as a defense structure it must secure energy supplies for troops that are necessary to conduct military operations. This involves the development of infrastructure that gives security to NATO member countries.