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Bronislaw Komorowski, Barack Obama meet with European leaders

IANS 04 Jun 2014, 7:43:02 IST
Warsaw: A meeting of the presidents of Poland and the US -- Bronislaw Komorowski and Barack Obama -- with Central and Eastern European countries' leaders was held on Tuesday at the presidential palace in Warsaw.

The leaders discussed the Ukrainian crisis, ties with Russia and security in the region, as well as energy security, Xinhua quoted the president's chancellery as saying in a statement.

Invitations to the meeting were extended to the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia -- all of them NATO members.

Opening the meeting, Komorowski said, "Security, like freedom, are not granted forever. They must be constantly nurtured, constantly strengthened.

"We are doing this in NATO, showing to ourselves and the world that freedom demands effort and frequently strength," Komorowski said.

Commenting on the Ukraine crisis, Komorowski voiced appreciation for NATO's increased presence in Central and Eastern Europe.

Calling NATO's response to the situation in Ukraine "a common experience of importance for solidarity and security," the Polish president expressed hope that NATO members will continue to work towards strengthening the alliance in face of "the crisis immediately beyond NATO's eastern frontier".

In his address, Obama stated that the US "stood shoulder to shoulder" with its NATO allies, assuring Central Eastern European leaders that "no one will take away what you have built in the past 25 years".

Obama said that in the face of Russia's activity in Ukraine, NATO was raising its presence in the region.

Addressing energy fears connected with the Ukraine crisis, Obama said the US planned to export more gas to the international market.