From January to December. A whole year of battles between Poland and Brussels. “The President Is Disappointed”

From January to December.  A whole year of battles between Poland and Brussels.  “The President Is Disappointed”

From January to December. A whole year of battles between Poland and Brussels. “The President Is Disappointed”

Announcing actions in 2023 in an interview with the Polish Press Agency, Kumoch emphasized that the direction of the president’s foreign policy will be: Indo-Pacific, South America, Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is an issue that has dominated the foreign policy of President Andrzej Duda in the past year.

Poland has not changed its opinion about Russia and Ukraine for years: Russia is a threat to Poland, Russia’s appetite grows as it eats, so it must be kept as far away from our borders as possible. Concessions only “embolden” Russia. President Duda has never changed his mind on this matter, Jakub Kumoch, the head of the president’s International Policy Office, told the Polish Press Agency.

Poland’s reaction to the Russian invasion

He emphasized that already at the end of 2021 – when Russia’s attack on Ukraine was predicted – Poland presented its position to the allies that Ukraine would defend itself against Russia and that it should be supplied with weapons.

“At the end of January, we made a decision as a country that in the event of a war there would be no evacuation of the ambassador from Ukraine and that Poland was ready to provide its own territory to defend this country. This is not altruism. It is the conviction that Ukraine will defend Poland. border of Poland, then we would be next. Therefore, we decided that although we are not participating in the war, we are not neutral in it, but we support Ukraine”

Kumoc said.

Immediately after the invasion, Poland opened its borders to refugees and became a hub for arms supplies to Ukraine.

In 2022, Andrzej Duda visited Ukraine four times: the first time on February 23, the day before the outbreak of war. Then, in April, he paid a visit together with the presidents of the Baltic states. In May, he delivered a speech before the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and in August he took part in the deliberations of the Crimean Platform. “Poland’s ties with Ukraine are very close, not only to the presidents, who are personal friends, but also to their closest associates” – emphasized Kumoch.

The presidential minister pointed out that many countries agreed with Poland, and Ukraine itself gave the Western countries a pretext to change their position.

“When the Americans saw that the reality was as Poland said: that Ukraine was defending itself, they started to support it with arms supplies. Then the scope of military aid expanded. The US changed its optics significantly and stopped speaking the language of understanding.”

Kumoch pointed out.

In his opinion, the Weimar Triangle did not turn out to be a good format for solving the Ukrainian issue. He recalled the meeting of the Triangle that took place in February in Berlin, which – as he reported – was an attempt to convince Poland to peacefully resolve Ukrainian issues, i.e. to force Ukraine to unconditionally comply with the Minsk agreements. “I think that our partners believed that by forcing Ukraine to come to an agreement with Russia, they were saving its independence, sovereignty, saving it from destruction. We believed that on the contrary: concessions to Russia cause defeat. We were right in this matter” – emphasized Kumoch.

The past year has been a time of rapprochement – also thanks to Ukraine – in relations with the countries of the region. “I have heard very often from my counterparts that Poland turned out to be a leader in this difficult situation,” he said.

Poland’s greatest achievements in international politics in 2022

According to Kumoch, the greatest achievements of Poland and Duda in international politics last year were: persuading the Americans to supply arms to Ukraine, as well as persuading the EU to open a European perspective for this country. In the latter context, he pointed to Poland’s rapprochement with the Baltic states and Slovakia. “President Zuzana Czaputova and President Andrzej Duda played an excellent game during the fight for Ukraine’s EU candidate status.

President Duda was the first leader of the Union to propose candidate status on the third day of the war, and on the fifth day he had the support of one-third of the EU countries. We’ve been fighting for this for months, pushing the undecided. The deal with the President of Slovakia was very simple: liberal circles like her, and conservative circles like President Duda. They shared roles. We won that fight,” he said. “No Western leader supported us in February. None. After four months, it turned out that President Duda was right, that our region was right,” emphasized the head of BPM.

Disappointment – the attitude of the European Commission on KPO

When asked what was the president’s disappointment, he pointed to the “stance of the European Commission” towards his plan to conclude an agreement on the KPO.

“The European Commission proposed a political compromise, but it turned out that the option of an attrition conflict with Poland is stronger for the Commission than the need for EU unity in the face of the war in Ukraine. The EC did not sense a historic moment. There was no good will on the part of the partner

Kumoc said.

“I oppose this attitude of the US. It is no secret that Joe Biden came with a very liberal agenda and that Andrzej Duda’s world of values ​​is different from Joe Biden’s world. But on February 24, these differences ceased to exist. The Biden administration decided that in a situation of war there was no “It doesn’t matter. Since the outbreak of the war, ideological issues in US-Polish relations have disappeared. The Americans behave loyally as a partner. Together, we support Ukraine – we give our territory, and the Americans provide most of the armaments for the Ukrainian army. It is not for nothing that Rzeszów received President Zelensky’s title of City-rescuer, many Ukrainians call it directly: City-Hero”

– added.

Kumoch also emphasized that the United States was in favor of ending the KPO dispute and informed the European Commission that they were interested in an agreement on this matter.

“The alliance with the US turned out to be durable and iron. He is our great partner. Also – as demonstrated by President Zelensky’s recent visit to Washington – a great ally of Ukraine’s defense.

– added.

Relations Poland – USA

The head of the presidential Office of International Policy also assessed that the past year was one of the most intense in Polish-American relations. At the beginning of March, US Vice President Kamala Harris paid a visit to Warsaw, and at the end of the same month US President Joe Biden came to Poland. In total, presidents: Duda and Biden held over a dozen talks and meetings: both in a bilateral and multilateral format.

In his opinion, Andrzej Duda also lobbied intensively for Ukraine’s EU candidate status, but also effectively counteracted Russian war propaganda. In the context of “convincing” the European perspective on the war in Ukraine, the head of the BPM considered the September visit to Africa: Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal as the most important visit. He announced that next year the president would like to pay a similar visit to another region of Africa. The visit is also supposed to be an opportunity – said Kumoch – for Polish business, because with some African countries we do not use our full economic potential.

Forecasting the president’s further actions, the minister stated that international relations in other regions of the world may soon be the main challenge.

“The closer it gets to Ukraine’s victory in the war, and especially after the victory, the direction of President Duda’s foreign policy will certainly be the Indo-Pacific. This is the region where the world’s attention is focused, and President Duda has all the potential and personal contacts with the leaders of this region, to play the role of an important player and business partner”

– assessed the presidential minister.

He pointed out that Duda has good relations with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol.

The head of BPM said that the president also wants to lead to a visit to South America with a large economic component, and that another visit to Africa is also possible. Another important place for Andrzej Duda – pointed out Kumoch – is the Arabian Peninsula.

“We are waiting for the implementation of visits to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, where the president is invited”

he stressed. He also spoke about the president’s close relations with the king of Jordan and the emir of Qatar.

The head of state’s activity in Central and Eastern Europe and intensive cooperation with the countries of the region on security issues and further support for the struggling Ukraine will remain a priority.

New good neighborly treaty with Ukraine

It is planned to conclude a new good neighborly treaty with Ukraine. Andrzej Duda stated in May that a good, symbolic moment to sign a new treaty would be the 160th anniversary of the outbreak of the January Uprising. Kumoch recalled that according to the president, the Polish-Ukrainian treaty could be modeled on the agreement concluded in 1963 by France and Germany.

“We want to have an equally close partnership with Ukraine”

– he stressed and informed that the treaty had already been prepared and was currently being approved by the president and the government. “We want a wise, well-thought-out document based on consensus, which will be a determinant of relations with fraternal Ukraine for years to come”

– he said.

Next year also marks the 80th anniversary of the Volhynia massacre. The head of BPM admitted in an interview with the Polish Press Agency that he would very much like her commemoration to take place with the participation of presidents: Duda and Zelensky.

“I would like it to be done with dignity and justice, in mutual respect. The Polish-Ukrainian history is bigger than the Volhynian massacre. It is obviously one of the important elements and the memory of it is a duty, but it is not the only event that took place in Polish-Ukrainian history”

Kumoch noted.

Source: PAP,

#European Commission
#Andrzej Duda
#Ursula von der Leyen
#President of the Republic of Poland


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