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Poland is 'Europe’s defender' and an example to follow: The Times

17.02.2023 13:30
Poland is the most committed of all NATO members in supporting Ukraine and an example for others to follow, Britain’s The Times newspaper has said.
Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Polish President Andrzej Duda.PAP/Leszek Szymański

The Times made the assessment in its editorial on Friday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Entitled The Times View on Poland Bolstering Ukraine: Europe’s Defender, the newspaper's leading article praises Poland for being "the most committed and robust" of all NATO members "in helping Ukraine."

As the war escalates, Poland "is an example that others should follow," The Times said.

Poland 'has risen to challenge' like 'no other NATO member' 

The UK newspaper wrote: “Poland is rapidly becoming the strong man of Europe. It has risen to the challenge of Russia’s attack on neighbouring Ukraine like no other NATO member. Poland has taken in more than 1.5 million refugees, far more than any other European country.” 

Moreover, Poland “has backed its hospitality with robust military commitment to Ukraine’s freedom," according to The Times. "It is raising its defence spending to 4 per cent of its budget. It has 114,000 combat troops now under arms, and plans to bolster the number to 300,000."

The article adds that Poland has been urging its NATO partners to supply Ukraine with weapons, and is "the vital conduit through which almost all arms are brought in."

All this gives Polish President Andrzej Duda "the right to be heard with respect" on his two-day visit to London this week, The Times said in its editorial.

'Poland sees Russian invasion as existential threat'

The Times went on to say: “Perhaps more than any other new NATO members, Poland sees the Russian invasion as an existential threat to all those countries once in thrall to Soviet domination of the Warsaw Pact.”

It added: “Poland has been explicit about its fears. ‘In our part of the world, the notion of independence means freedom from Russia,’ its foreign minister said recently.” 

The UK newspaper also said that "the contrast with Hungary is striking,” although both countries “are at odds with Brussels” and are ruled by “nationalist governments.”

It observed that “Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, has dragged his feet over sanctions against Moscow and scorned NATO for providing more and more weapons,” whereas “Poland has galvanised support for Ukraine.”

'Poland is not blind to the risks'

The Times wrote that Poland "is not blind to the risks" and that it "demurred at early suggestions that it should send its MiG jet fighters to help Ukraine."

It noted that Poland "is open to the idea of sending F-16 jets to Ukraine but only with broad western support.”

According to the British newspaper, Warsaw "knows that when the long-awaited Russian spring offensive begins, a prime target will be the arms supply lines from Poland."

The article noted that Poland last year "suffered the lethal crash of a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile on its territory.”

'An example others should follow'

The British daily said that “the Polish military leadership is clear-sighted, closely aligned with the Americans and fast modernising its weapons and aircraft."

The Times added: “On the civilian side, Poland has been equally resolute. Ukrainian refugees, despite their numbers, have been allowed to settle, work and integrate, with little popular resentment at the cost or the priority given in housing and benefits.”

The newspaper warned that the next few weeks "will be a testing time" for Ukraine and for NATO. "Already the conflict has become a bloody war of attrition," it said.

“Ukraine will prevail only with the level of support it now enjoys from Poland, an example others should follow,” The Times concluded.

Friday is day 359 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, The Times