„NATO:1949-1999-2019. The 20 Years of Poland in the 70 Years of the Alliance” – report from the discussion in Tirana

The debate ” NATO:1949-1999-2019. The 20 Years of Poland in the 70 Years of the Alliance”, organized by the Institute for Eastern Studies and the Albanian Institute for International Studies, was held on 25 September In Libraria Tirana Times.

The presentation of the publication and the discussion devoted to two important anniversaries – the 70th anniversary of NATO and the 20th anniversary of Poland in the Alliance – were inaugurated by Karol Bachura, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Albania, who pointed out that in the current geopolitical situation, NATO is more necessary than ever. The Ambassador also stressed out very good cooperation between the Polish and Albanian armies, which resulted in joint military exercises of our and Albanian soldiers.

Anna Kurowska, Program Manager for the Balkans at the Institute for Eastern Studies in Warsaw, presented the publication, which was created within the framework of the project. She pointed out that NATO has been a guarantee of security for Poland for many years, especially if we take into account the current geopolitical situation in the region (e.g. Russian aggression in Crimea). She stressed that an important aspect of the publication is to present the Polish contribution to the development of the Alliance and the importance of becoming a member of the Alliance for Poland, as well as the perspective of Central and Western European countries, the youngest member states (Albania) and the United States.

The discussion was led by Alba Cela, deputy director of the Albanian Institute of International Studies, who emphasized the importance of Albania’s membership in NATO structures. She again emphasized the importance of cooperation between Poland and Albania.

Then Ledion Krisafi, an analyst from AIIS and co-author of the publication ” NATO:1949-1999-2019. The 20 Years of Poland in the 70 Years of the Alliance ” spoke about significant changes in the Albanian army after 2009. The previous large but poorly equipped army underwent a complete transformation.

Plator Kalakula, Head of NATO Directory in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, spoke about the challenges that NATO and its member states face now and – possibly – in the future. Mr Kalakula stressed that the future of NATO depends on the political cohesion of its members, because it is they who decide on the actions taken by the forces of the Alliance. He also recalled the importance of signing an agreement on permanent structural cooperation (the so-called PESCO). During the discussion, the issues related to the fight with the fake news was also discussed, which Lt Col Tomasz Koperwas, a military attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tirana, referred to.