Meeting of Defense Ministers of the Northern Group
The meeting of Defense Ministers of the Northern Group was held on 6-7th November in Helsinki, Finland.
- It was very important meeting of Defense Ministers of the Northern Group, in which also participated US Secretary of Defense gen. James Mattis, who specially came to this meeting and stressed the importance of the Baltic and Northern States to the United States. This is obviously a result of the current military situation, which was so dramatically shown during exercise ZAPAD 2017 – said Head of the Ministry of National Defense after the meeting. As Minister Macierewicz emphasized ZAPAD exercises were supposed to show the possibility of interrupting communication between the USA and Europe.
- One of today's sessions was devoted to show how the countries of our region can prevent such an aggressive Russian actions. Strengthening our military cooperation becomes an element guaranteeing the security of NATO and the whole world – added Minister.
Minister Macierewicz also noted that one of the most important topics discussed during the meeting was the matter of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO).
- We all agreed that there are programs that can be useful, such as so-called NATO - Schengen. General Mattis rightly pointed out that it is difficult to require from US and other states to support the Eastern Flank in situation when army cannot move easily. Poland is in a good situation. One of my first decisions taken two years ago, was to shorten the period required to 72 hours. So this movement across the Polish border is easy - said Minister Macierewicz.
During the meeting, Ministers of the Northern Group decided that Poland will be framework state of the Northern Group, from Jan 2018.
The North Group includes 12 countries: Great Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.