Posted originally on the CTH on February 19, 2023 | Sundance
With a visit by Joe Biden coming up next week, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki discusses the status of the ongoing Ukraine conflict with Russia and the expectation of this being a long NATO supported fight.
Poland is in a weird place with their internal politics. Domestically, their population is not in alignment with the leftist, globalist approach. However, for the past two years -especially since the Russia/Ukraine conflict began – they appear to be walking a tightrope with U.S. policy, leaning favorably to the Biden administration.
It appears Poland is like many EU countries in the leadership disconnect from the mindset of the underlying population that grants them power, with NATO representing the corrupting influence in the disconnect. Then again, the same could be said for almost the entire western system of government, including the United States. Interesting dynamic to watch:
(Transcript) – MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to Face The Nation. President Biden heads to Poland this week, his second visit since Russia began its war in Ukraine. For more we go now to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Good morning to you.
POLISH PRIME MINISTER MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI: Good morning madam.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So President Biden will be visiting Warsaw, we know you’ve said President Zelenskyy will also be in Poland. What do you expect from these visits?
PRIME MINISTER MORAWIECKI: Well, I expect that there will be very strong confirmation of our resilience and our joint efforts to defeat Russia in Ukraine, because instead of saying, some Western European politicians say that Russia cannot be- cannot win this war and Ukraine cannot be defeated. We have to change that paradigm and we have to say, Ukraine must win and Russia must be defeated. And I believe that the words of President Biden will reassure all Europe, that the United States is with us in this fight for freedom and peace.
MARGARET BRENNAN: It sounds like you’re referring to the French president’s recent comments. Does NATO actually want Ukraine to win this war and regain its lost territory?
PRIME MINISTER MORAWIECKI: I believe so. I’m absolutely sure that this is the only way how we can restore peace and stability. I cannot imagine that Putin and the Kremlin winning this war, and then peace and stability is around us because the nature, the very nature of Russia is to conquer other countries. Russia has actually somewhat the worst of the 20th century, colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, and this is- this is the nature of “Russkiy mir” as they call, and this is why it’s such a critical moment in our history.
MARGARET BRENNAN: President Biden said he believes the war has to end in a negotiated settlement that’s favorable to Ukraine. You said last year, Poland doesn’t negotiate with criminals- criminals, “nobody negotiated with Hitler, would you negotiate with Hitler? With Stalin? With Pol Pot?” Are you saying peace is not possible if Putin stays in power?
PRIME MINISTER MORAWIECKI: I just came to here- to this interview from Munich Conference. Munich Security Conference, very important platform to exchange opinions today, but in 1938, there was another Munich Conference, where all the leaders of the Western world succumbed to Hitler, and they believed they- they are they are bringing peace to their countries. And one year later, the Second World War broke out. We can, of course, negotiate, but it has to be under conditions and under the definition presented by Ukrainians themselves. It’s up to them to define what- what terms and conditions can be acceptable to negotiate with- with the Kremlin.
MARGARET BRENNAN: One of Ukraine’s neighbors, Moldova, has warned that there was a plot to overthrow their government and open a new front in the war. An ally of Putin recently said that Russia should ‘denazify and demilitarize Poland next.’ Do you see evidence that Russia is going to try to move into other countries including yours?
PRIME MINISTER MORAWIECKI: Well, first of all, I can see more and more provocations around us. One of the missiles of Ukrainian defense system fell on Polish territory, killing people. And this was a direct consequence of a rocket- a rockets and missiles attack from Russia on Ukraine. A couple of weeks, a couple of days ago, another missile rocket went over the territory of Romania. It was sent over the territory of Romania and yes, I do see lots of fingerprints of Russian forces, Russian services in Moldova. This is a very weak, very weak country and we all need to help them. Poland is delivering some financial support for Moldova to survive this very- those very difficult times.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But in terms of Poland, you are in NATO, so the United States would have to come to your defense if you went to NATO and asked for it. There are 11,000 U.S. service members on rotation in Poland currently, I know your government’s asking for more. Do you have any indications from the Biden administration that they will send more troops or make them permanent on your soil?
PRIME MINISTER MORAWIECKI: We are in the process of discussion with President Biden’s administration about making their presence more permanent and increasing them. But- but I’m very grateful also for sending new Patriot systems and other very modern weapons and munitions. Because this is also, to some extent, a proxy for- a proxy for- for presence of soldiers, but of course, the two go in tandem. I also recall the words of President Biden from last fall, from his last visit in Poland, when he said that every inch or square inch of NATO’s country’s territory, is- will be defended, and Russia is not going to put any inroads into- into those countries. And I do believe that NATO countries, we are all very much secure. But it’s not only about us. It’s also about creating stability around us,, in our direct neighborhood. And if we fall to integrate Ukraine in NATO and European Union, Ukraine will always be a zone- a buffer zone, which is- which is not right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You’ve offered fighter jets to Ukraine, Soviet-era MiG jets, the U.S. has rejected that offer in the past. Any indication they’ll change their position now?
PRIME MINISTER MORAWIECKI: Well, like as you probably recall, Madame, there were many things beyond our imagination at the beginning of the war, and then unimaginable became realizable. And so was with tanks, so was with the Patriot anti-aircraft, anti-missile- anti-rocket system. And I believe that also with fighter jets, eventually, there will be fighter jets from the West, delivered to Ukraine. Poland’s position is we can do this, but only in combination with other NATO allies, and in particular, under the leadership of the United States.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I have to let you go, but I want to quickly ask you, does the U.S. continue to raise concern to you about your own government’s crackdown on gay rights, curbing of the judicial system, and press freedom? Or have they moved those issues to the side because of the war?
PRIME MINISTER MORAWIECKI: We have no provenance of those issues whatsoever, madam. This is not the issue of war, which actually put those questions aside. We- we’re introducing reforms to reform post-communist judiciary system, but this has nothing to do with war and other issues. We are in very frequent contact with President Biden administration. And by the way, we struck a deal. We made a compromise with Brussels, in the counter- in the format of new legislation, and I believe that those issues will- will be so on completely resolved.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right, Mr. Prime Minister, we’ll be watching that visit. Thank you for your time.
PRIME MINISTER MORAWIECKI: Thank you. Thanks for having me.