Professor Romuald Szeremietiew – defense specialist (postdoctoral degree “On the security of Poland in the 20th century”), political prisoner of the Polish People's Republic, MP in the Third Term Sejm, former deputy minister and Minister of National Defense (under the governments of Jan Olszewski and Jerzy Buzek), academic lecturer.
Wiesława Lewandowska: During the visit of President Andrzej Duda in Washington, the presidents of Poland and the United States signed a Declaration on Defense Cooperation, which provides for the expansion of the presence of the US armed forces on Polish territory by about 1,000 soldiers (currently 6,500) and the purchase of 32 F-35 fighters, which – as many commentators say – it will mean a rapid increase in Poland's security. Can we really talk about a radical breakthrough in defense?
Romuald Sheremetyev: The breakthrough is undoubted. However, I would not pay excessive attention – both admiration and criticism – to all kinds of expensive military “toys”. What has just happened – and should still happen – in Polish-American relations I read as the final direction of US policy by President Donald Trump. In my opinion, it can be concluded that there has been a favorable geopolitical breakthrough for Poland.
Earlier American declarations were not so explicit?
– After the United States won the “Cold War” and the collapse of the Soviet Union, an international order controlled by the US was created, which, of course, not everyone likes. Most Russia, which would like to lead to the so-called a concert of powers – in which the United States would be just one of many powers responsible for the fate of the world – that is, to share spheres of influence. Russia clearly wants this, and its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov even proposed to the West a “new Yalta”.
This Russian “wish concert” could easily come true?
– Until recently, such fears seemed quite justified … And fatal for Poland, because it could even threaten our sovereignty. When Donald Trump became president, everyone wondered what direction American policy would go in, whether an agreement could be reached with Putin; there have been reports of some influence of the Kremlin on American elections. In Poland, there was no certainty whether the provisions of the Warsaw NATO Summit of 2016 to strengthen the so-called eastern flanks. Concerns were expressed about President Trump's intentions.
The fear was finally dispelled by Trump's visit to Poland, especially his speech at the monument to the Warsaw Insurgents?
– Maybe not yet definitively, but then such a brighter window opened, not so much after this wonderful speech – because Trump could only say nice words to us politely – but for me the most significant was the participation of President Trump in the conference of leaders the so-called. Trójmorza.
US support for the Three Seas idea is a preview of a completely new geopolitical order, the exclusion of any “new Yalta”?
– It is rather a confirmation of maintaining the current order. However, at the time, in 2017, it could not yet be certain about it. President Trump gave an encouraging speech to the participants of the Three Seas Conference in Warsaw. They were also just words … But later I learned that the Three Seas project was adopted by the State Department as one of the US policy goals.
What does it mean?
– The US takes the region of Central Europe very seriously. We have a step by step expanding US presence in our region and in Poland. Therefore, the visit of the President of the Republic of Poland to Washington is of great importance. It's not just about buying modern weapons for our army. What counts most is the growing involvement of the United States in the economic sphere.
Because the US sees its benefits here, President Trump is just a businessman – says the Polish opposition.
– The economic involvement of the power is revealed in accordance with its political commitment. He does not invest in places that he intends to give away to someone. And the American benefits are almost identical to what Central American countries, especially Poland, can gain from the American presence, even by becoming independent of Russian gas supplies. The Americans are able to guarantee us a sufficiently large supply of liquefied gas so that Poland can also transfer them to the countries of the Three Seas. In this way, economic unions begin to form, which will form the whole Tri-Sea region. A strong political and economic center will be created, which will support and support the global policy of the United States. In it, Poland must play the most important role because of its size.