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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Statement by the President of the Republic of Poland after meeting with the President of the USA in the White House

President: Strengthening military cooperation between Poland and the United States is of great importance

I wish to thank very much the President of the United States of America for inviting us here to Washington and the White House to this very important meeting, important for many reasons. For me, as President of the Republic of Poland, it is important because after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic Poland is the first country to be invited here to a meeting in the White House for a discussion of the most important issues about the future: what will be the shape of relations of the United States with Poland in their economic dimension, what will be their shape in military dimension, what these relations will look like when it comes to cooperation in health care, all those elements which are crucial today.


A large part of our conversation with the President and our respective colleagues was devoted to the coronavirus: the situation as it stands in the European and in the global dimension when it comes to the struggle to control the coronavirus, also in the United States, but above all, how to act in the future. I thank the President very much for the declaration made that we would cooperate with each other, that our scientists will cooperate, collaborate in the research to invent a vaccine and to develop a drug for coronavirus: anything will be conducive to the treatment of coronavirus. I hope that thanks to this cooperation such medicaments will made be available to also my compatriots, to the Poles, as soon as possible.


Mr. President, thank you since we all realize what high level research is conducted in the United States in this respect, and this declaration and the willingness to cooperate on the part of the United States, Mr. President, is extremely important to us. Thank you for that.


But there is also, Ladies and Gentlemen, economic cooperation, military cooperation. Let me first address the economic one. As the President has just noted, we continue to develop it in terms of energy, building energy security. Today, it needs to be said, the United States works together to build energy security not only for Poland, but also for Central Europe. The President has just mentioned the countries of the Three Seas Initiative. Yes, today, all the investments that are being carried out in Poland, i.e. extension of the Świnoujście gas terminal, where we are increasing its handling capacity by 2.5 billion cubic metres, and the intended construction of another gas terminal in the port of Gdańsk, all of this is done to enable deliveries of LNG and to secure its supply not only to Poland, but also to the countries of Central Europe, which are still largely dependent on Russia. This creates an authentic alternative, i.e. diversification of supplies, which is of key importance for their security. Thank you, Mr President, for this cooperation. I hope that we will continue to develop it. Today, these supplies are secured until 2023, but I know that we will be singing new contracts to this end, especially as demand will certainly increase.


But, Ladies and Gentlemen, the cooperation also includes one in the area of conventional and nuclear energy. In the nearest future, an agreement will be signed between the governments of the United States and the Republic of Poland, which will pave the way for design works related to the massive project of harnessing conventional nuclear energy for electricity production in our country. The operators who will take part in this process have been already selected. Arrangements are very well advanced. On the Polish side, these negotiations have long been conducted by Minister Piotr Naimski. Currently, they are paving the way for a relevant intergovernmental agreement to be concluded, something which can be expected in the nearest future.


Ladies and Gentlemen, this is also about the United States' contribution to the Three Seas Initiative, and above all the financial contribution to the Three Seas Fund. The President has been interested in this fund for some time now, as an instrument which authentically enables the development of this cooperation. Thank you, Mr President, for this active engagement and thank you for your appreciation of this cooperation, which takes place in Central Europe, within the framework of the European Union, between our countries and serves to develop the infrastructure. It also helps to see the opportunity emerging there for cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic space between Europe, the countries of the European Union and the United States. Of course, including Poland, from my perspective – this all is extremely important to me.


But in this economic dimension, strengthening military cooperation between Poland and the United States is also of great importance. I have no doubt that this cooperation translates to the strengthening of security of the European Union and strengthening the security of NATO eastern flank, but also, and perhaps above all, from my own point of view, to strengthening Poland's security. Moreover, it adds to Poland’s perceived investment credibility, mainly among American investors. A month ago, a large American global company: Microsoft announced that it is investing one billion dollars in Poland in a state-of-the-art data centre, today Google has officially published the information that it will also invest in the centre of modern technologies in Poland, including information technology. That it will be an even bigger investment than the one made by Microsoft.


Mr. President, I have no doubt that these American investments and the additional drive to invest among American companies at the moment result from a very effective policy that we are conducting together, which increases the sense of security among Polish citizens, and likewise increases the sense investment security in our country, for which I am very grateful, because of course it means new jobs in an ultra-modern sector, which is information technology. And I am glad because we have a large number of well-prepared young IT-specialists in Poland, including young IT engineers, and we are certainly able intellectually to cope with the most serious challenges. I am convinced that these investments will be beneficial for the United States, and for US companies, as well as for Poland: this through jobs, through gaining experience, and primarily by young people, by young engineers. 


I am also glad, Mr. President, that, as we have pointed out, the agreements we concluded concerning stepping-up the American military presence in Poland, the agreements from the last yea: the first one increasing American forces in our country by 1000 soldiers, and the second one referring to specific locations where these soldiers will be permanently deployed in our country, on a rotation basis, today find their follow-up: namely the discussion about the potential option to further increase of the American military presence in our country.


I also have spoken to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in recent days. We agreed on one thing. As Europeans, we have no doubt that if any part of the troops of the United States Army, the largest army of the North Atlantic Alliance, were to be completely withdrawn from Europe, it would be very bad for European security. It is, therefore, in our view, a profoundly justified point that the United States troops in Europe should remain.


Mr. President, thank you very much for this meeting today, thank you very much for the fact that Poland was received in the White House as the first country after this long break in direct diplomacy. Thank you for these words about our pride and about the heroism of Poles throughout history. Today Polish soldiers stand shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers. We are tried and tested allies. Together we shed blood in Iraq, in Afghanistan. We are always ready to fulfil our allied obligations. Thank you for the fact that the United States emerges, thanks to your policy, Mr President, as an absolutely loyal ally, also to us, and the realization that we can count on the United States.


Thank you, too, for emphasizing historical truth in such a tireless manner. This is very important for us, Poles. The fight against disinformation, defending historical truth, also about World War 2, about who caused it, about how it unfolded, is very important for us, so that it is duly represented in the world. It is also extremely important to us in terms of our dignity. World War 2 was a period of a great trauma in the history of our nation. We lost 5 million citizens and it was a tragedy for us, also to speak out and to present the truth as it really was. But likewise, it is extremely important for us to speak also about the heroism of the Poles wherever they fought, wherever they shed blood, side by side with their allies: in Monte Cassino, at Tobruk and elsewhere in the world, on the Eastern and the Western front.


I am glad that Polish security is nowadays supported by the United States. I am glad that we have perfectly developing economic cooperation. Mr. President, I have no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic will pass, and that together we will continue to strive for the development of our countries, for the development of our societies, for building a better, more prosperous future for both the United States and Poland, for Europe.
Thank you very much.



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