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USA – Poland. Radosław Sikorski: we do not place all chips on one color

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Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski said that the Polish government “does not put all its chips in one suit” in relations with the United States. He emphasized that the Polish government wants to have the best possible relations with the US, regardless of who is in power there.

– We want the best possible relations with America, regardless of who rules here, and we will not make the mistakes of our predecessors by putting all our chips on one color, said Sikorski during a briefing for Polish media at the Kennedy Center in Washington, where he took part in the FT Weekend Festival conference.

The minister referred in this way to his Saturday meeting with the former national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, General Keith Kellogg, who is currently considered one of Donald Trump's close foreign policy advisers. Sikorski said he was impressed by the conversation with the general – now part of the America First Policy Institute think tank.

– This is a man who understands the situation of our region, who understands the stakes of this war and understands that Poland is doing more than other allies. It seems to me that Poland has a friend in General Kellogg, said the minister.

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“We will use our example to mobilize others”

When asked about reports that former President Trump had taken up President Duda's initiative to raise the mandatory threshold of NATO countries' defense spending to 3 percent of GDP, Sikorski said that he understood this initiative as “showing that Poland is a leader here.”

– Yes, we will use our example to mobilize others to at least fulfill the obligations in the Alliance that have been in force for many years – noted the head of Polish diplomacy. He added that he spoke with President Duda about his one-on-one meeting with Trump, but declined to provide details of this exchange.

In addition to the meeting with General Kellogg, on Saturday the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also held talks with the new director of the National Security Council for European affairs, Mike Carpenter. As he revealed, the conversation with the White House official with Polish roots was “very intense and detailed” and mainly concerned the war in Ukraine.

“Russia's costs have not been high enough so far.”

Sikorski also took part in a panel discussion on the war in Ukraine at the FT Weekend Festival conference. During a conversation with his wife, journalist Anne Applebaum, and Fiona Hill, a former NSC official in the Trump administration, the minister spoke, among other things, of the need to convince Putin that the West is on Ukraine's side for better or for worse, which means that Russia is unable to wait out the current intensification of support for Ukraine. He also added that the competition with Russia should go beyond Ukraine.

– The costs borne by Russia have not been high enough so far. As I said, this should not be limited to Ukraine (…) We should make them uncertain about what we will do everywhere, not only in Ukraine – argued Sikorski.

At the same time, he supported the attitude of French President Emmanuel Macron aimed at causing uncertainty in Russia as to what Europe will do. At the same time, he expressed skepticism about his idea to protect all of Europe under the French nuclear umbrella, pointing out that France mainly has missiles with intercontinental range, while the threat from Russia comes mainly from its arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons.

The minister also talked about the lessons from last year's Polish elections. As he argued, one of the decisive factors was the issue of abortion, which contributed to the loss of support of the previous government among a significant number of women. He also suggested that this problem may have a similar impact on this year's elections in the US. “I think there may be a lesson for this country in this,” he said.

Main photo source: OLIVIER HOSLET/EPA/PAP

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