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National security is 'absolute priority' for Polish politicians: president

13.04.2023 17:30
The Polish president has said that “the most important mission” and “an absolute priority” for the country’s politicians is to make Poland and its people secure amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks to reporters in parliament, on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks to reporters in parliament, on Thursday, April 13, 2023.PAP/Leszek Szymański

Andrzej Duda made the statement at a media briefing in parliament on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

Earlier, the president was in attendance as Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau addressed MPs to outline the priorities of Poland’s foreign policy.

Poland’s top diplomat said: "The aggressive policy of the Russian Federation remains the greatest threat to peace in Europe, including Poland's security." 

Duda told reporters that Rau’s speech "highlighted the fact that Poland’s foreign policy has been very active in the recent period,” and “not without reason.”

The president stated: “Today, a war is taking place near the Polish border, in Ukraine, caused by Russia’s aggression.”     

‘National security is our priority’

Duda emphasised: “The most important mission facing Polish policy and Polish politicians today is to make sure that Poland and its residents, all of us, Polish men and women, are secure.”

He added: “Today, this is an absolute priority for Polish foreign policy in all its aspects, including internationally, to build security, from energy security to food security and military security.”

The president said he was “pleased” that the foreign minister “stressed the importance of our alliance with the United States and our membership of the NATO alliance.”

He added that “amid the events beyond our eastern border, this is obviously the most important thing.”

Duda noted that America “possesses the biggest army and the biggest military potential in the world,” as well as providing “the biggest support” for Ukraine’s defence effort against the Russian invasion.

He stated: “We are at the forefront, because Poland and Britain, besides the US, have been the staunchest supporters of Ukraine. We have been supporting Ukraine from the outset.”

The president went on to say: “We understand perfectly well that the people of Ukraine, by defending their homeland, defending their independence, defending the sovereignty of their state today, are also defending the security of Europe, so in essence they are waging a war, as we say, ‘for our freedom and yours.’” 

“We know it well enough from our history and today we can safely say that Ukrainians are waging this kind of war,” Duda added. 

Support for Ukraine, 'bigger US presence on NATO’s eastern flank’

He declared: “The policy of supporting Ukraine, the policy of helping Ukraine, the policy of building an alliance with the US, but also the policy of seeking a stronger US presence in Europe, especially on NATO’s eastern flank, is in Poland’s national interests today.”

He added that Poland was also boosting its security through “gigantic weapons purchases” to upgrade its army.

‘Alliance with US is of fundamental importance

The president stated that “the current events in Europe” had vindicated those who, “over the past two decades, followed in the policy footsteps of the late Polish President  Lech Kaczyński.”

Duda said that "the words spoken by Lech Kaczyński in Tbilisi, during Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia, can be repeated endlessly because sadly they have proved prophetic.”

Speaking at a rally in the Georgian capital in August 2008, Lech Kaczyński warned his audience about Russia’s aggressive designs on its neighbours. 

He said, as cited by the tvp.info website: “We know perfectly well that today it is Georgia, tomorrow it will be Ukraine, and the day after tomorrow, the Baltic states. And then, perhaps it will also be the turn of my country, Poland.”

Duda told reporters on Thursday: “This aggression has become reality, because the world, especially Europe, didn’t pursue this kind of policy” of caution against Russia. 

The Polish president also said that "the alliance with the United States is of fundamental importance” to his country.

He added that US President Joe Biden’s two trips to Poland "in the space of a year demonstrate Poland’s importance in our part of Europe and on the eastern flank of NATO.”

The president stressed that Poland would “seek to strengthen the partnership with the United States,” also as a way of boosting the security of “the entire Europe” and would make “the tightening of trans-Atlantic ties” a priority of its 2025 presidency of the European Union, the PAP news agency reported. 

Thursday is day 414 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 


Source: PAP, prezydent.pl