May 26th, 2024

With war in Ukraine on the border, Poland wants to be among countries setting the EU agenda

By Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press on April 25, 2024.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, shakes hands with Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of NATO at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, April 4, 2024. NATO marked on Thursday 75 years of collective defense across Europe and North America, with its top diplomats vowing to stay the course in Ukraine as better armed Russian troops assert control on the battlefield. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Poland’s Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski told parliament on Thursday that the government wants to return to the group of countries which sets the agenda of the European Union, laying out the government’s vision at a historically crucial moment with war across the border in Ukraine.

He warned that a Russian attack on NATO would end in defeat for Moscow, but NATO must increase its defenses.

Sikorski was describing the new direction of the government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, which took office in December.

Sikorski is seeking to explain how Poland’s priorities changed after Tusk’s government replaced a national conservative party, led by the Law and Justice party, in respect to rule of law and international relations.

Law and Justice led Poland from 2015 to 2023, and while it stressed ties with the United States, it had a conflicted stance toward the European Union and with Germany, which invaded and occupied Poland during World War II.

Sikorski argued that Poland’s development and security should be based both on trans-Atlantic cooperation and on European integration, and that it is also ready to take responsibility for global challenges.

He also stressed the importance of friendship with Germany.

He accused the previous Law and Justice government of choosing confrontation.

Sikorski’s speech is aimed at both the world and the domestic audience in the nation of 38 million people located along a geopolitical fault line.

Poland, a member of NATO and the European Union, is on the eastern flank of both and shares borders with Russia and Belarus in addition to Ukraine. It is a key hub for Western weapons going to Ukraine.

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