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America sees Poland as model for others to follow: UN envoy

20.02.2023 13:00
The Polish ambassador to the United Nations has said that US President Joe Biden is visiting Poland this week because his administration sees Poland’s policy towards Russia's war on Ukraine as an example that other countries should follow.
Krzysztof Szczerski.
Krzysztof Szczerski. PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Krzysztof Szczerski made the comment in an interview with Polish Radio on Monday, the public broadcaster’s IAR news agency reported.

Biden is set to make a two-day visit to Poland on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to officials.

On Monday, the US leader made an unannounced trip to Kyiv, according to news reports.

In Warsaw, the US head of state is set to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda, deliver a major speech in the gardens of the Polish capital’s Royal Castle to mark a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and attend a summit meeting of the Bucharest Nine (B9) group of eastern-flank NATO allies.

Poland is 'a model to follow'

Szczerski told Polish Radio that Biden was coming to Poland because “the American presidential administration is citing Poland as a model to follow.”  

He said the United States “appreciates Poland’s response to the war in Ukraine,” especially as Warsaw "had been warning the world against Russian imperialism" even before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

Szczerski added that Washington “appreciates Poland’s support for Ukraine and efforts to mobilise support from other countries” as well as "the welcoming attitude" towards refugees from Ukraine.  

“This is hailed here at the UN as something unprecedented that will go down in the history of foreign policy as something totally unique,” he said.

'A leader in Europe and a partner for US'

The Biden administration also appreciates the fact that Poland is pursuing an independent policy regarding the war in Ukraine, according to the ambassador. 

Szczerski told Polish Radio: “Right from the start, Poland has been thinking, saying and acting independently in this new situation, in cooperation with allies and mobilising those who are more resistant. We are not waiting to hear what others will say.”

He argued that “such an independent policy allows Poland to be a leader in Europe and a partner for the US.”

B9 summit

Szczerski also said that Poland had been forging regional solidarity on security issues since 2015, and the Bucharest Nine group has by now become “a well-known format.”  

He added that Biden’s planned appearance at the B9 summit in Warsaw later this week "stems from Poland’s key, constructive role in regional security, NATO's security and trans-Atlantic ties.

'Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine will be tried'

Szczerski told Polish Radio that "Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine will be tried, most probably by a special Ukrainian tribunal with international aspects, or an international one with Ukrainian aspects.”

Krzysztof Szczerski. Krzysztof Szczerski. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

“Such brutal aggression by such an important country on the international stage cannot go untried,” he said, adding that Russian crimes were being documented on an ongoing basis, including by UN agencies.

Szczerski also said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine "has proved that Russian imperialism is a threat to global security.”

He noted that the UN General Assembly would debate a resolution on the war in Ukraine this week, with the UN Security Council also set to convene in the coming days. In both these debates, Poland will be represented by its Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, reporters were told.

Szczerski said the UN General Assembly resolution would state that “peace is needed and necessary, but not at any price,” and can be agreed “only when Russia withdraws from Ukrainian territory and compensates Ukraine for the damage it had inflicted.”  

Biden, NATO chief to meet in Warsaw

Meanwhile, the White House has released further details of Biden’s trip to Warsaw. In addition to meeting the Polish president, making a key speech in the Polish capital on Tuesday, and meeting with B9 leaders the next day, the US leader will also hold talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and meet with US embassy staff on Wednesday, the IAR news agency reported.

Monday is day 362 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, wpolityce.pl

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland’s Michał Owczarek.