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Ryszard Bobrowski, Marcin Każmirski, Witold Waszczykowski

Chronology of Selected Events in Poland’s Political and Military Contacts with NATO

1990

21 March — Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski visits NATO headquarters in Brussels for discussions with NATO Secretary General Manfred Wörner and Permanent Representatives of NATO countries. Diplomatic contacts between Poland and NATO are initiated.

13–15 September — NATO Secretary General Manfred Wörner visits Poland. In an address to the Polish parliament, he stresses the historic opportunity for creating a durable order of peace and prosperity in Europe based on friendship and cooperation.

1991

31 March — Formal dissolution of the Warsaw Pact’s military structures.

23 May — Defense Minister Piotr Kołodziejczyk visits NATO headquarters to discuss Polish cooperation with the Alliance.

3 July — President Lech Wałęsa visits NATO headquarters and endorses the Alliance’s political purposes.

11 September — Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki on his visit to the United States presents Polish linkage to NATO as a goal.

6 October — The presidents of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland meet in Krakow and state their countries’ wish to be included in NATO activities.

14 October — Establishment of Atlantic Club of Poland — on the initiative of Grzegorz Kostrzewa-Zorbas, Ryszard Bobrowski and Zdzisław Najder — the first Polish organization advocating and working for full Polish membership in NATO.

11 November — NATO Secretary General Manfred Wörner receives Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski at NATO headquarters.

20 December — Inaugural meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), attended by foreign ministers and representatives of 16 NATO countries and 9 Central and East European countries, including Poland.

1992

16–17 January — Delegation of the Atlantic Club of Poland, headed by its secretary Ryszard Bobrowski, visits NATO headquarters and SHAPE and proposes the Polish membership in the Alliance. Secretary General Wörner speaks unofficially about full Polish membership by the end of his mandate.

10 March — Extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Foreign ministers and representatives of member and partner states issue the first Work Plan for Dialogue, Partnership, and Cooperation.

11–12 March — Secretary General Wörner visits Poland and opens a Seminar on "Security in Central Europe" held in Warsaw.

10 April — First meeting of the NATO Military Committee in a cooperation session with chiefs of defense and chiefs of general staff of Central and East European states.

1–3 July — High level seminar on defense policy and management at NATO headquarters, attended by officials from 30 NATO and partner states.

7 October — Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka visits NATO headquarters in Brussels.

1993

January — The first issue of Central European Review, a non-governmental publication edited by Ryszard Bobrowski providing documents, information, and analysis on NATO and its relations with Central European countries.

16 March — Italy leads a joint multinational CFE inspection with cooperation partners Azerbaijan, Hungary, and Poland. A declared site in Romania is verified.

29 March — Defense ministers of member and partner states meet in Brussels to review progress in cooperation on defense-related matters and to exchange views on European security.

30 June–2 July — In order to further the work of the NACC Ad Hoc Group on Cooperation in Peacekeeping Polish delegates take part in a NACC high level seminar on peacekeeping.

1 September — President Lech Wałęsa, in a letter to the NATO Secretary General, reaffirms the main principles of Polish security policy and includes NATO membership among the chief goals of Polish foreign policy.

1994

2 February — Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak signs the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Framework Document at NATO headquarters.

14–15 February — The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Field Marshall Sir Richard Vincent, visits Poland.

March — Foundation of Euroatlantic Society in Poland, chaired by Janusz Onyszkiewicz.

11 April — In a visit to Poland, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott confirms that in the case of Central European states, there is a link between their participation in PfP and future membership in NATO.

25 April — Defense Minister Piotr Kołodziejczyk visits NATO to submit Poland’s PfP Presentation Document.

9 May — Foreign and defense ministers of the Council of the Western European Union, meet in Luxembourg, grant WEU associated partner status to Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

12 May — Defense ministers of Denmark, Germany, and Poland meet in Warsaw and decide to conduct a joint maritime exercise in the Baltic next autumn.

13–20 June — The first joint Polish-French training exercise is held in Kłodzko and Bourg St. Maurice simultaneously.

17 June — U.S. Senators: Hank Brown and Paul Simon introduce a bill favoring expansion of NATO’s military cooperation with the Visegrad countries — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia — and recommending, among other things, providing those countries with surplus U.S. military equipment.

5 July — Poland’s PfP Individual Partnership Program is formally accepted.

7–9 July — General George A. Joulwan, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, visits Poland to discuss preparations for joint exercises between Polish and NATO troops.

17–19 July — Defense ministers of France, Germany, and Poland meet in Warsaw to discuss problems of PfP cooperation.

21 July — Minister of Defense Zbigniew Okoński announces that General Henning von Odarza, ret., of the Bundeswehr has been named an adviser to the Polish minister of defense for contacts with NATO.

12–16 September — The first PfP joint training exercise, Cooperative Bridge, is held at the Biedrusk firing ground near Poznań. Soldiers from 13 NATO member and partner states take part. Polish forces include 280 soldiers, a battalion staff, and 5 helicopters.

14–15 September — Foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Poland meet in Bamberg, Germany, to discuss Poland’s integration with the European Union. A declaration is issued on expanding French-German-Polish cooperation and on French and German support for Polish efforts to join NATO.

6 October — Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak addresses the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and reaffirms Poland’s desire to join NATO.

8 October — The U.S. Congress passes the Brown Amendment calling considering of NATO membership for the Visegrad countries.

14–23 October — First joint French-German-Polish training exercise at the firing ground in Larzac, France.

24–28 October — PfP joint peacekeeping training exercise Cooperative Spirit is held at the Harskamp firing ground near Arnheim with participation of soldiers from 12 NATO and partner states, including 30 from Poland.

26 October — 3 November — 37 Polish soldiers take part in PfP training exercise Carbon Gape in Denmark.

28 October — U.S.-Polish intergovernmental consultations on security policy are held in Warsaw. Problems of arms control and exports of military equipment as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the frameworks of NATO, OSCE, WEU, and PfP are discussed.

2 November — President Clinton signs bill containing the Brown Amendment.

14 December — At a meeting in Brussels, NATO defense ministers agree that the NATO-Russian dialogue on partnership should proceed in parallel with the process of enlargement.

1995

26 January — U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher speaks out against favoring some states in the process of NATO enlargement.

16 February — The United States lifts restrictions on the export of modern battlefield systems to Poland.

16 February — The U.S. House of Representatives passes the National Security Revitalization Act which names the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia as the countries most worthy of early consideration for full NATO membership.

19 March — Meeting in Carcassone, EU foreign ministers agree that NATO’s eastward expansion should be coupled with a simultaneous conclusion of a special NATO-Russia partnership agreement.

23 march — Senator Hank Brown introduces a bill which would grant NATO observer status to the Visegrad countries.

5 April — Prime Minister Józef Oleksy visits NATO and reaffirms Poland’s desire to join the Alliance at the earliest possible time.

25–29 April — Chief of General Staff General Tadeusz Wilecki visits NATO headquarters to attend a session of the Military Committee.

8–10 May — Representatives of Polish Armed Forces take part in the PfP exercise Bright Eye in the United Kingdom.

25–28 May — Polish observers attend a U.S.-Ukrainian training exercise under PfP.

29 May — The North Atlantic Assembly meeting in Budapest votes to admit the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia to NATO by the end of 1998.

30–31 May — Ministers of defense of the Visegrad countries discuss problems of PfP cooperation and NATO membership.

2–12 June — A group of Polish warships and aircraft take part in the PfP exercise Baltops ’95 in the Baltic Sea.

27 June — U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry visits Warsaw to discuss problems of NATO enlargement and U.S. assistance in modernizing the Polish army.

6–8 July — Chancellor Helmut Kohl pays an official visit to Poland and, in an address to the Parliament, stresses the irreversibility of Poland’s integration with Western Europe.

9–14 July — U.S.-Polish PfP training exercise Double Eagle at the Wędrzyn firing ground.

8–26 August — The first PfP training exercise on American soil, Cooperative Nugget, is held at Fort Polk, Louisiana, with the participation by soldiers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and 14 partner states. 41 Polish soldiers from the 6th Airborne Brigade as well as Polish civilian and military observers take part.

16 August — Polish and German defense ministers meet in Warnemünde near Rostock to sign an agreement on partnership between Polish and German Navy units.

16–17 August — Ministers of defense of Denmark, Germany, and Poland meet on the Danish island of Aro to discuss the situation in the Baltic and in the former Yugoslavia as well as NATO enlargement and future joint exercises.

6–11 September — Minister of Defense Zbigniew Okoński visits the U.S. Department of Defense to discuss problems of NATO enlargement and prospects for Polish purchases of U.S. military equipment.

9–20 September — Polish soldiers and military experts take part in the PfP training exercise Combined Endeavor in Germany.

11–29 September — Polish warships take part in PfP maritime exercise Sandy Coast in the North Sea.

20 September — The North Atlantic Council issues the Study on NATO Enlargement.

27–29 September — On a visit to NATO headquarters, Minister of Defense Zbigniew Okoński meets with NATO Secretary General Willy Claes, Chairman of the Military Committee Richard Vincent, and WEU Secretary General José Cutileiro.

28 September — The Study on NATO Enlargement is presented to 26 Partner states in Brussels. Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Towpik expresses Poland’s satisfaction with the vision of European security and NATO enlargement offered in the Study.

28 September — 1 October — Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili visits Poland and confirms good cooperation between Polish and U.S. armed forces.

2–13 October — Polish troops take part in PfP exercise Cooperative Jaguar in Denmark.

12–14 October — Polish soldiers take part in PfP exercise Cooperative Light in Hungary.

14–15 October — NATO headquarters’ briefing group led by Ambassador Gebhardt von Moltke visits Warsaw to discuss the NAC’s NATO Enlargement with Polish partners.

16–20 October — A platoon of 32 Polish soldiers takes part in PfP exercise Cooperative Dragon in Italy.

3 November — In Brussels, Poland signs the Agreement Among the States Party to the North Atlantic Treaty and the Other States Participating in the Partnership for Peace Regarding the Status of Their Forces (so-called SOFA-PfP).

6 November — Poland notifies NATO Acting Secretary General Sergio Balanzino of its interest in contributing Polish troops to the Implementation Forces for Bosnia-Herzegovina, as outlined in Dayton accords.

22 November — The Polish Chief of General Staff Tadeusz Wilecki visits SHAPE and NATO land forces command headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany.

5 December — The Polish Government decides to send Polish soldiers to IFOR. On 11 December, NATO’s invitation to join IFOR is officially accepted. Polish contingent of 670 soldiers is formed on the basis of the 6th Battalion of the 6th Airborne Brigade, which had participated in the PfP planning and review process. Polish soldiers serve in the Nordic-Polish Brigade within the structure of the U.S. 1st Armored Division. Polish Colonel Włodzimierz S±siadek is appointed Deputy Commander of the brigade.

6 December — During a NACC ministerial meeting in Brussels, Poland (along with Norway) delivers a special presentation evaluating Partnership for Peace and its future perspectives and discussing the place of democratic civil-military relations in PfP cooperation.

10–17 December — Polish troops and observers take part in the  PfP exercise Concordia ’95 in Germany.

1996

17 January — President Aleksander Kwa¶niewski pays an official visit to NATO headquarters. Meeting with NATO Secretary General Javier Solana and permanent representatives of NATO members, he emphasizes the permanency of the strategic goals of Polish foreign policy and calls for the opening of "16+1" pre-accession talks on Poland’s membership in NATO.

January — February — Polish troops in IFOR begin their mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

January 29 — NATO extends invitation to all partner states to intensify dialogue on the basis of Study on NATO Enlargement.

8 February — Polish foreign and defense ministers officially accept NATO’s invitation to intensified individual dialogue on the basis of the Study on NATO Enlargement, extended to all Partner states.

4 April — Presentation of the Polish "Individual Discussion Paper" in NATO headquarters.

7 May — The first meeting of Polish delegation with representatives of NATO headquarters within framework of "intensified dialogue".

3–4 June — NATO ministerial meeting in Berlin. The allies agreed to the CJTF concept on the further development of NATO internally and externally: "This new NATO has become an integral part of the emerging, broadly based, cooperative European security structure".

1 July — The second round of the NATO-Polish intensified dialogue.

10 October — The third and final round of NATO-Polish intensified dialogue.

November — Poland takes a part in PfP exercise Cooperative Bold Raven ’96 in Ostend (Belgium).

10 December — North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels. Members decide: "enlarging the Alliance will not require a change in NATO’s current nuclear posture, and therefore, NATO countries have no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members nor any need to change any aspect of NATO’s nuclear posture or nuclear policy".

1997

21 February — During a visit to NATO, Prime Minister Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz says that Poland sees no need to have nuclear weapons stationed on its soil when it joins the Alliance.

February — The defense ministers of Poland, Germany, and France sign "Initiative on the Intensification of Trilateral Politico-Military and Military Cooperation".

14 March — North Atlantic Council meet in Brussels and announce: "In the current and foreseeable security environment, the Alliance will carry out it’s collective defense and other missions by ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces".

24 March — During a visit by President Aleksander Kwa¶niewski to NATO headquarters, NATO Secretary General Solana assures the Polish President that the new members of the Alliance will not be "second class members".

28–29 May — The North Atlantic Council meets at the level of foreign ministers in Sintra, Portugal. The ministers decide to create the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and to adopt a new Partnership for Peace program called for to strengthen cooperation with countries that do not wish to enter the Alliance or that have not been chosen as part of the first group of new members.

8–9 July — The North Atlantic Council meets at the level of heads of state and government in Madrid and invites the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to begin accession talks with NATO.

1 August — The Polish parliament, passes a resolution giving the government a clear mandate to assure the Alliance and its members of Poland’s readiness to provide the resources necessary to fund its integration with NATO.

August — Polish, German, and Danish defense ministers decide to create a multinational corps to be combat ready by April 1999.

September — Poland submits to NATO headquarters its reply to the Defense Planning Questionnaire (DPQ).

September — October — Accession Talks between NATO and Poland begin. Poland assures the Alliance of its willingness to accept all political, defense-related, and financial obligations related to membership and to meet all relevant requirements formulated by the Alliance.

6–7 October — Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council seminar on "Practical Economic Aspects of Defense Industry Modernization" held in Warsaw.

12 November — Formal conclusion of the accession talks. Minister of Foreign Affairs Bronisław Geremek addresses a letter to the NATO Secretary General, which confirms Poland’s interest in joining the Alliance and its readiness to accept all obligations and requirements of membership.

26 November — Opening of the Polish Embassy to NATO.

27 November — Visit by Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek to NATO headquarters.

16 December — NAC foreign ministers meets in Brussels, sign the accession protocols for Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. The accession protocols of the invited countries are now subject to ratification by all 16 members countries.

December — Beginning of the cooperation between the representatives of Polish Army and SHAPE.


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