Slovakia criticizes Poland over raid on NATO center

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Slovakia’s Defense Minister Martin Glváč wrote a letter to his Polish counterpart, Antoni Macierewicz, in which he severely criticized his entrance to the NATO counterintelligence center in the dead of the night on December 18.

“I request a stop to all non-standard actions,” the letter read.

Glváč wrote that contrary to statements made by some Polish officials, the raid was not agreed with Slovakia. “With whom had the Polish side consulted the appointment of a new head of the center?”

The Slovakian Defense Minister reminded that the NATO facility is an independent, international institution, and not a part of Poland’s MoD. “I ask you to present your vision of Poland’s contribution to the development of the center. I expect your proposals no later than January 31, 2016,” the letter concluded.

At around 1 AM on December 18, Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, assisted by ministry officials and military police, entered the NATO counterintelligence center to oust the head of the office.

The press reported that in order to get in, some doors were broken while others were opened with a copied key.

Bartłomiej Misiewicz, a ministry official said then that the ousted head, Krzysztof Dusza, had failed to act on a dismissal order.  The defense ministry appointed Robert Bala as the acting director, who was also among the staff that raided the office that night.

NATO’s Centres of Excellence (COEs) are nationally or multi-nationally founded institutions that train and educate leaders and specialists from NATO member and partner countries.

COEs are not part of the NATO Command Structure and NATO does not directly fund them. However, the overall responsibility for COE coordination and utilization within NATO lies with Allied Command Transformation (ACT).

The COE in Warsaw is run jointly by Poland and Slovakia.

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