12 March: Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary become NATO members
On 12 March 1999, three countries of the former ‘Warsaw Pact’ – Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary – joined NATO. A few years before, on 17 September 1993, exactly on the anniversary of the 1939 Soviet attack on Poland, the last troops of the Red Army stationed in Poland left the country. For the first time since the start of the Second World War there were no foreign troops on Polish territory. Poland became a sovereign country pursuing its own national defence policy.