NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed his confidence on Friday that both Poland and Slovakia would maintain their support for Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia, even in the aftermath of imminent elections. Despite recent tense rhetoric towards Kyiv from both countries, Stoltenberg remains optimistic about the future of Ukraine’s relations with its NATO allies.
Poland’s Evolving Stance
Poland, a NATO member, is set to elect a new parliament on October 15th. Recently, Poland announced that it would no longer approve new arms shipments to Ukraine and instead focus on replenishing its own military resources. This shift in policy comes in the wake of Poland’s decision to extend a ban on Ukrainian grain imports, which has strained its relationship with Kyiv. Poland has long been regarded as one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies in its conflict with Russia.
Despite these recent developments, Stoltenberg expressed his expectations and confidence that Ukraine and Poland will be able to address these issues diplomatically, without negatively impacting their military support for Ukraine. In an interview with Reuters in Copenhagen, he stated, “I’m expecting and I’m confident that Ukraine and Poland will find a way to address those issues without that impacting in a negative way the military support to Ukraine.”
Slovakia’s Support and Potential Change
Slovakia, also a NATO member, has consistently been a strong ally of Ukraine, providing military equipment such as MiG-29 fighter jets and an S-300 air defense system to its eastern neighbor. However, the upcoming election in Slovakia presents a potential change in stance. Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Robert Fico, currently leading in the polls, has pledged to end Slovakia’s military support for Ukraine.
Secretary General Stoltenberg emphasized NATO’s commitment to continued collaboration with Ukraine, regardless of the outcome of the elections in member countries. He assured that NATO would continue to convene meetings and discussions, and expressed confidence in finding ways to sustain support for Ukraine, as has been the case since the conflict began.
While recent developments in Poland and Slovakia have raised questions about their future support for Ukraine, NATO remains steadfast in its commitment to Ukraine’s security. Secretary General Stoltenberg’s confidence in diplomatic resolutions and ongoing collaboration underscores the alliance’s dedication to preserving stability in the region.