New Polish president demands better NATO protection from Russian aggression

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WARSAW: New Polish President Andrzej Duda used his inauguration Thursday to call on NATO to better protect Eastern Europe from Russian aggression and pledged to make Poland a key force in resolving the conflict gripping neighboring Ukraine. “We need more guarantees from NATO, not only we as Poland but the whole of Central and Eastern Europe, in the current difficult geopolitical situation,” Duda said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim to a right to influence in formerly allied communist countries. “We need a greater NATO presence in this part of Europe.” Poles are particularly wary of newly aggressive Russia’s intentions. A survey of 39 countries by the Pew Research Center that was released this week showed that Poles have the highest degree of negative sentiment against Russia, with 80 percent of respondents expressing distrust of Putin and his government.

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