The accession of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to the Western military alliance NATO 20 years ago was celebrated with a military ceremony in Warsaw on Sunday.

The first armoured brigade of the Polish Army displayed their vehicles and equipment as part of the ceremony, the Polish news agency PAP reported.

Among the guests of honour were Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban.

The three former Warsaw Pact countries joined the alliance on March 12, 1999.

‘Our countries have proven that they are valuable members of NATO, and the alliance has shown that it continues to be a guarantor of common security,’ Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

As new challenges, Morawiecki cited cybersecurity and hybrid warfare.

On Tuesday, a ceremony is scheduled to take place in Prague to mark the actual NATO accession anniversary.

Since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, NATO has strengthened its presence in the eastern part of its territory.

Last June, the defence exercise ‘Saber Strike’ took place in Poland and the Baltic states, involving about 18,000 soldiers.

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