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Polish FM talks Ukraine, arms, frozen Russian assets in Washington

06.05.2024 14:00
During his visit to Washington, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski discussed Ukraine with American authorities, focusing on supplying arms to Ukraine and using frozen Russian assets to aid the war-torn country.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski.Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak

Sikorski emphasized the shared interest of both Poland and the United States in countering Vladimir Putin's influence.

Sikorski told reporters that Polish President Andrzej Duda had not coordinated with the government in Warsaw on his proposal to increase NATO's minimum defense expenditure to 3 percent of GDP.

Expressing skepticism, Sikorski highlighted concerns that such a move could be exploited by Donald Trump to "undermine NATO commitments," particularly Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, if the former US leader returned to the White House after this year's presidential election.

Duda's call to raise NATO's minimum defense spending threshold from 2 to 3 percent of GDP, echoed by Trump, lacks government support in Warsaw.

Sikorski highlighted Trump's stance that the United States would not defend countries failing to meet defense spending targets, warning that the group of nations defended under such circumstances might be diminished.

With NATO's upcoming summit in Washington, Sikorski noted that Duda's proposal would hinder the acknowledgment of successes of the summit, such as the increasing number of countries which exceed the 2 percent threshold.

Sikorski said: "I'm skeptical when it comes to inflating expectations like this because instead of a successful summit, meaning the majority meeting the agreed-upon standards set in Newport, we might set ourselves up for failure. And for what?"

Currently, 20 of NATO's 32 member states meet or exceed the 2-percent benchmark, while only the United States, Poland, and Greece surpass 3 percent, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.


Source: IAR, PAP, polskieradio24.pl

Click on the audio player above to listen to a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.