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Wednesday, 1 March 2000

Meeting with U.S. Chamber of Commerce

On March 1st, 2000, President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski met with the board and representatives of firms affiliated with the American Chamber of Commerce. In his address to the meeting, President Kwasniewski said i.a.: Poland found itself in a security system which has proven out in the last decade in Europe. It has security guarantees from the world`s most powerful states, from the United States to Europe`s most industrialised countries. For the first time in its history, Poland is in the same military-political alliance with Germany. This is an event which is hard to underestimate. Poland wants to work hard towards NATO`s further enlargement, to see the policy of "open doors" become a fact of life, and not only a slogan. We are interested in NATO`s expansion both northwards, that is in admitting the Baltics, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as well as being interested very much in taking in Slovakia, the Balkan countries, and at this point I think of Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania and, in not too distant a future, of Croatia and Macedonia. We will be striving to see this policy of opening pursued in the next few years, because this is the best guarantee for the security system to encompass the entire European continent, and thus to eliminate arising perils. As for the Polish-Russian relations, it must be said they are simply not good. It was not easy to pursue a good policy towards Russia at a time when they so profoundly and so unfavourable aknowledged Poland`s NATO aspirations. The Polish side also made serious mistakes. First of all, the new government did nothing new in fact in this matter despite having declared that it would improve these relations. Unfortunately, the Polish power structures, particularly the police, are to blame for the events in Poznan, which cannot take place against any country. All of that is further compounded by such difficult situations as the detection of illegal actions by some diplomats. This poses problems in international relations, but it is difficult to put up with such facts. In a nutshell, we are at a very difficult moment of relations with Russia, but I do hope it will be possible to put the Polish-Russian realations into shape, once the election fever has subsided in Russia (...) The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was established in 1921 on the initiative of American businessmen doing business in Poland. Its task is to promote the U.S. economic presence in Poland, and back up market-oriented economic changes. At present, the Chamber numbers 300 members, including the largest, supranational corporations. March 1st, 2000 President Aleksander Kwasniewski meeting the Board and member firms affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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