03 czerwca 2019
Krzysztof Szczerski, The Chief of the Cabinet of the President

President Andrzej Duda will meet in Brussels on Tuesday afternoon with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Ukrainian head of state, the Chief of the Cabinet of the President announced on Monday.

Addressing reporters, Krzysztof Szczerski said that the current week "will be very active for the Polish president in the field of foreign policy."

"Tomorrow afternoon, President Duda will first meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to present the state of negotiations regarding the increased presence of US troops in Poland," Krzysztof Szczerski said.

"Since we want to be transparent towards our allies, the president will present his plans and decisions concerning what is to happen in Washington next week (...), so that our allies could be informed by the NATO secretary general about this matter," minister Szczerski underlined and added that a briefing for all allies regarding the increased US military presence in Poland will be held at a later date.

Asked whether an agreement regarding the increased US military presence in Poland will be signed during President Duda's visit to the White House on June 12, minister said there were such plans but stressed that before the deal is signed, "President Duda wants to discuss the matter with our allies at NATO headquarters."

"This is a gesture agreed upon with the US side," he went on to say, adding that he had informed partners in Washington that President Duda was planning such a meeting with the NATO secretary general.

While in Brussels, President Duda will also meet with the Ukrainian head of state, Volodymyr Zelensky. "This will be the first meeting of the two presidents," Krzysztof Szczerski underlined and declared that, "Poland wants to be an advocate of Ukraine's European path."

Szczerski announced that both meetings "will be followed by briefings for the press."

Referring to the meeting with Zelensky, Krzysztof Szczerski expressed his hope that 'conclusive talks' will be held during a visit of the Ukrainian president to Poland. "President Duda will repeat his invitation to his Ukrainian counterpart to pay a visit to Poland, so that it is an official visit by the new president," he said, adding that the meeting in Brussels "will be a working one."

"President Duda will also invite President Zelensky to attend observances marking the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII, to take place in Warsaw on Sept. 1."

According to Krzysztof Szczerski, President Duda wants to get acquainted with the political plans of the new Ukrainian head of state and present to Zelensky "our evaluation of Polish-Ukrainian relations, which have two dimensions today."

"Geopolitical interests linking Poland and Ukraine as well as social issues (...) are the dimension which has been bringing us closer to each other," Krzysztof Szczerski remarked.

"But, at the same time, we have problems connected with the policy of history," Krzysztof Szczerski underlined and added that President Duda "will present his expectations regarding this issue." (PAP)