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    Poland Celebrates 25 Years in NATO, Emerges as a Leading Force

    As Poland marks a quarter-century of NATO membership, General Wiesław Kukuła, the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, has highlighted the country’s significant contributions and evolving role within the Alliance. “Poland is becoming one of NATO’s leaders, especially as an undeniable leader on the Alliance’s eastern flank,” General Kukuła stated in an interview with the Polish Press Agency.

    Over the past 25 years, Poland has undergone a profound transformation, redefining its position within NATO. “Today, NATO is us. Our proactive approach to developing the Armed Forces and our active participation in missions and plans has made us a regional leader and increasingly influential within NATO,” General Kukuła remarked.

    Despite various political challenges, the General views the Alliance as the optimal response to contemporary security threats. Poland’s developed position, its ability to anticipate and respond to threats, sets standards that many countries are keenly observing. “This gives us a great chance to shape the future of the Alliance, potentially right here in Poland,” he added.

    When asked about the notion of establishing European Armed Forces, General Kukuła expressed skepticism about its feasibility at this stage. However, he sees significant potential in a synergistic effort between NATO and the European Union (EU). “While NATO remains focused on military security, the EU has tremendous potential to bolster economic and industrial security processes. This model of cooperation seems most appropriate given the current threats,” he explained.

    General Kukuła also supported the idea of appointing an EU Commissioner for Defense, arguing that it could enhance the Union’s defense policy management and its synchronization with other processes.

    Highlighting the strong ties between the EU and NATO, he noted that 23 countries, including Poland, are members of both organizations. Poland is actively contributing to the EU’s defense efforts, including providing a Battlegroup in 2024 and 2025 and playing a significant role in the Union’s training mission for Ukraine.

    As NATO welcomes its 32nd member, Sweden, General Kukuła sees this as completing a strategic puzzle in the Baltic region. He praised Sweden’s well-prepared defense strategy and robust armed forces, suggesting that Sweden’s membership not only enhances its own security but also significantly strengthens the Alliance.

    This Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of Poland’s accession to NATO, a milestone that underscored the country’s commitment to collective defense and marked its integration into the Euro-Atlantic security architecture.

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