Mateusz Morawiecki made the remark in an exclusive interview with US broadcaster NBC News on Thursday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
The prime minister was wrapping up a three-day trip to America, during which he held talks with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House, visited a factory producing the F-35 fighter jets in Georgia and toured a facility producing state-of-the-art Abrams tanks in Alabama, according to officials.
‘Ukraine war could last years longer’
Appearing on the Meet the Press programme, Morawiecki was asked by the NBC News’ Kristen Welker “how long a war” Poland was preparing for.
The Polish prime minister said: “We are not calculating any precise date.”
He added: “We are simply observing what is happening on the frontline, on the battlefield, and accordingly we try to adapt to the situation and work through our diplomacy with our partners in Western Europe to support Ukraine.”
Asked if he believed the war “could last years longer,” Morawiecki replied emphatically: “Yes, it could.”
He noted that Russia had enormous natural and human resources, “a patient society and public opinion,” with the majority of Russians supporting President Vladimir Putin.
He compared Putin’s position to that enjoyed by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in 1930s Germany and said that Putin had an “easier” situation than Western leaders.
The Polish prime minister cautioned that the strength of the Russian army must not be underestimated.
He stated that, for all these reasons, “we must prepare for a longer war,” the PAP news agency reported.
Morawiecki also said that Russia was forging closer ties with China, which he described as “a serious problem.”
He warned that if Beijing supplied weapons to Moscow, it would cross “a red line, a Rubicon” in relations between the United States and China.
‘Poland trusts US intelligence’ despite Pentagon leak
Asked to comment on recent leaks of top-secret Pentagon intelligence, including on the war in Ukraine, Morawiecki said: “It is unfortunate of course, but these things unfortunately happen.”
Asked if the US vice president had sought to reassure him during Tuesday’s talks that “Poland secrets would be safe” with Washington, Morawiecki replied: “Of course, yes.”
He added that his government had “very regular contacts” with US intelligence chiefs, disclosing he recently “met twice” with the US Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, in Poland.
Morawiecki said: “I know there will be new procedures implemented to avoid those unfortunate happenings in the future.” He added that Poland could "trust the US intelligence community."
At an Atlantic Council event in Washington earlier on Thursday, the Polish prime minister denied the leaks would affect his country’s confidence in Washington’s ability to keep secrets, The Guardian reported.
Morawiecki told the British newspaper: “I believe failures happen and mistakes happen, but we have to be as close as possible to our allies in Western Europe and the United States. We have to unite on this front as well.”
In the NBC News interview, the Polish prime minister said he trusted US President Joe Biden’s judgment that the leaked material was not “of great consequence.”
Friday is day 415 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: PAP, The Guardian