The NATO summit in Warsaw is deciding on new troops for Eastern Europe. Russia is to be both deterred and invited to dialogue. Putin says he’s ready to talk and picks up the phone.
It looks a bit like a huge spaceship has landed on the banks of the Vistula in Warsaw’s inner city. The red metal exterior gleams in the sun. The wall supports jut into the blue sky like protective spears. A brilliant white vaulted plastic roof shields the construction. The Polish national stadium was built especially for the UEFA Euro 2012. Now, this temple of sports, which can hold 58,000 people, is also serving as a conference center. For two days, NATO has taken up residence here, with thousands of delegates from more than 40 states and hundreds of media representatives. In addition there are thousands of security personnel, along with logistic workers and caterers. Spread over five stories, they populate the countless rooms under the stands.
An 80-by-40-meter (265-by-130-foot) tent is set up on the grass. The heads of state and government meet in this windowless snow-white structure – completely screened-off from the world, inside a huge cocoon made of plastic sheeting, aluminum and reinforced plasterboard. “You could think it’s a beehive,” one of the Polish organizers said with a smile. “We buzz around, and in the middle are the queens.” The city of Warsaw is also completely geared up for NATO for two days. Whole streets are cordoned off for the motorcades of the state guests. Trams are rerouted. Underground stations are shut. Thousands of police guard kilometer-long fences around the stadium, at the airport and around the hotel towers in the inner city. The tabloid website fakt.pl is even reporting that the number of sex workers has risen for the duration of the summit – and that the prices for their services are much higher than they usually are.
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(All photos: nato.int)