— Polskie Radio: the Topic of security in Eastern and Central Europe became especially actual in connection with Russia’s aggressive actions, so I would like to ask, how do You assess this threat? And what can we do to save our region from, say, right, war? How to ensure economic development? A few years ago it seemed that nothing prevents. We were confident that Europe will become stronger, the EU will continue to expand transatlantic ties strengthened, and now we are faced with threats and new questions, in particular, in the context of Russia.
— Daniel fried (Daniel Fried): the Threat from Russia actually exists. The Russian-Georgian war and Russian attack, aimed at Ukraine showed that Moscow was the aggressor. President Vladimir Putin has planned and organized the attack on the Ukrainian state. Thus, it puts pressure on all of Europe.
Fortunately, Poland is a NATO member and the EU, so she won’t be alone. The visit of the President of Donald trump in Warsaw showed that Washington is serious about its Alliance with Poland, this is a good sign. It is not only in words: in Poland and the Baltic States appeared first troops of the Alliance and the United States. This is a huge step forward that was made by the Obama administration and supported the new administration. Poland will not be alone. We want Europe to be free and United. We already have a lot to do in this direction, but the work should continue.
— What do you need to take in terms of military strengthening of the Eastern flank of NATO?
— Of course, there is always a field for improvement, but the presence of U.S. troops and NATO can not be called symbolic. Nothing like this before, and this is very important. It should be added that the risk of aggression is not always associated with the military sphere. It may be internal propaganda, to appear in the form of corruption or the Russian investments aimed at sabotage, subversive activities.
The key to security in this regard is a democracy, a strong state with strong state institutions and a strong economy. These are all part of national security.
— Recently we signed a preliminary agreement to purchase anti-aircraft missiles Partiot. The Ministry of defence signed a Memorandum on this subject during the visit of Donald trump to Poland.
Most of the time. I remember ten years ago, the Polish government accused us of unwillingness to create a plan for the defense of Poland in the framework of NATO. Warsaw was right: we were not ready for it. But now there is such a plan, and the troops, and the Patriot air defense system. There is progress. Cooperation between U.S. and Polish leadership (both the previous and the current) is developing perfectly.
Washington and Moscow opened a new stage in their relationship. Recently there was a meeting of Vladimir Putin and Donald trump, in connection with it there were concerns that they may reach an agreement, which affected our region.
— I understand what the historical background of the poles appear to be a concern, but this destructive agreement is not possible. I don’t see anything wrong in what United States are trying to establish cooperation with Russia in specific areas, this is good, but it should not develop to the detriment of the interests of other countries and our values. You cannot negotiate with the Russians over the head of other States. My country in the past made a lot of mistakes, but we don’t repeat.
— What were the mistakes?
It was too bad that we weren’t in Europe in the 1930-ies. Hitler and Stalin had the opportunity to divide Poland. This disaster led to the Yalta agreement and the division of Europe. After the collapse of the Yalta system in 1989, we decided not to repeat this error and to cooperation with Poland in the establishment of a United and free Europe. This was due to the fact that we cooperated with the Polish leadership, since 1989. The government in Poland changed, it was the liberals, right-wing, post-Communist forces, but they have become excellent partners.
— The situation in Ukraine remains precarious: on Donbass there is a war, the Crimea was occupied, the prospects for resolving the conflict are not visible. Is there any way out of it? Was recently appointed as the new US special envoy for Ukraine — Kurt Volker (Kurt Volker).
— I very well know Volker, he of seven years was my Deputy in the White house and the state Department. The new administration has made an excellent choice. Walker held the post of U.S. permanent representative to NATO, it has a common opinion on Russia’s commitment to freedom and warm attitude towards Poland and its region. This is the last person who would decide to enter into agreements that infringe upon Ukrainian interests. We see that the administration of Donald trump relates to the theme of Ukraine seriously.
We will take part in diplomatic actions aimed at the liberation of Ukraine (its occupied territories — approx. Polskie Radio). Initially, in accordance with the Minsk agreements needed to resolve the situation in the Donbass. The Russian occupation of Crimea we do not recognize.
My last job in the us administration has been associated with the coordination of sanctions — I was the coordinator of the state Department on these issues. Interaction with the Polish leadership was fine. The administration trump has repeatedly stated that sanctions will remain in place as long as will continue the Russian occupation.