UK and Poland strengthen foreign policy, security and defence cooperation

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Photo credit: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023 MOD News Licence.

The UK and Poland will deepen their foreign policy, security and defence cooperation following the signing of a new partnership.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace signed a new bilateral ‘2030 Partnership’ with Poland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau and Minister for National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak at Lancaster House yesterday (5th July).

The partnership sets out joint priorities on issues ranging from Belarus to China, to cooperation on defence capability and operations. It builds on the 2017 UK-Poland Treaty on Defence and Security Cooperation and three decades of close cooperation.

It emphasises the UK and Poland’s commitment to stand together in upholding a resilient international system that protects freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity, defending rights for countries and states trade fairly and determine their own futures.

The partnership also will see cooperation towards building the next generation of capabilities for our armed forces; increasing the intensity and frequency of joint training exercises; strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence posture; and standing united in our approaches to the Indo-Pacific.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:

Just as the UK and Poland fought together to preserve freedom in Europe during World War 2, so today the UK and Poland are standing together once more, at the forefront of international support for Ukraine.

Our 2030 Partnership commits the UK and Poland to even greater defence, security and foreign policy cooperation into the future.

In a meeting ahead of the signing, the ministers discussed the close cooperation between the UK and Poland, support for Ukraine, and the defence and security of the Euro-Atlantic area. They also discussed NATO priorities ahead of next week’s Vilnius Summit.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

As historic defence partners and NATO Allies, the UK stands with Poland to defend NATO’s Eastern Flank and support Ukraine against Russian aggression.

The 2030 Strategic Partnership strengthens our commitment to develop closer military deployments and exercises and deliver on immediate and long-term capability projects.

The UK and Poland share an historic partnership, stretching back to before the Second World War, which continues to the present day with hundreds of British troops deployed to Poland. Recently, this has included last year’s deployment of Challenger 2 tanks and the ongoing deployment of Sky Sabre air defence systems to Poland.

Both countries have also been working together to help secure the development of air defence weapons for the future.

In April, the Prime Minister announced the UK and Poland had signed a major £1.9 billion export agreement to roll out a British air defence system, made by MBDA, across the European nation. The export win will supports hundreds of jobs across the UK, delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy, and deepening ties with our key European ally.

Poland’s President, Andrzej Duda, also visited Downing Street in February to meet the Prime Minister, where they reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Ukraine and their support for Sweden’s accession to NATO.

The Defence Secretary and his Polish counterpart also signed the Air Defence Complex Weapons Agreement in October. This enables the UK and Poland to cooperate in the development and manufacture of current and future complex weapons and deepen the interoperability of our armed forces.

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