08 October 2019

D.S.M Conference | Jaroslaw Stroyk: Poland is no longer primus inter pares at NATO, because Romania took its place

Andreea Soare

The Polish General (r) Jaroslaw Strozyk, has stated, Thursday, within the Defence and Security Monitor that Poland is no longer primus inter pares at NATO because Romania took its place.

Image source: Mediafax

“I came here to praise Romania and to underline some of Poland’s mistakes that had made during recent years, but I was, I would say, distracted by the first panel, because I saw that you have also discussions about internal issues and you do not have a full consensus inside your country”, stated general (r) Jaroslaw Strozyk.

“In an interview I had a few years ago, my first TV appearance, I was asked how is Poland’s position at NATO, and I said <<Poland is no longer primus inter pares at NATO, because Romania took our position>> and that was even the headline after the interview. I was not so much wrong, I would say. This is my first point for you”, added general (r) Jaroslaw Strozyk.

Also, he highlighted some of the shortcomings that Poland has in terms of security: “Between 2015 and 2016, the national strategy was completely denied. The modernization program was completely denied. (…) The Minister of Defence started the procurement contract for 15 helicopters, from France, and four years later they got 4 plus 4. The military wanted, in this modernization program, the Patriot systems, but the minimum requirement was eight batteries, the Government bought two of them. (…) Then, the General Staff wanted to buy minimum three divisions of HIMARS, and the Government bought one”.

“I heard talking about the threats against Romania, against Israel, and I believe we can agree that the Black Sea Region is Russia’s main interest”, underlined the Polish general.

“This 2% of GDP for defence is one of the biggest lies of NATO. We have so many charts, different charts. (…) We, in Poland, have 2% of GDP now, next year we will have 2,1%. This means 20 billion euros. Out of this 2% of GDP, 40% goes to salaries, and 20% to pensions for the guys like me, who left the army system. Hence, not so much left or the modernization. On the other hand, Germany (…) invests 1,3%, but this is 50 billion, so four times bigger than Poland. So, I believe that there should be different possibilities for the NATO member states”, concluded Jaroslaw Strozyk.