Ukraine Can Take Inspiration from Poland’s Post-Soviet Transformation
It is fitting that President Obama’s first meeting with newly elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko occurred today in Warsaw. The formal reason for Obama’s trip is to mark the 25th anniversary of Poland’s first post-communist election. Obama’s trip to Warsaw, the first stop in a three-country Europe swing, is intended to reassure Poland and other front-line states of the continuing credibility of Washington’s commitment to the defense of its NATO allies in the face of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continued provocations in Ukraine’s East.
Russian actions have made it imperative that the United States and NATO take clear and tangible steps of reassurance. To date, these have included reinforced air policing over Baltic air space, “beefed up” ship movements in the Black Sea, and military exercises. The United States also dispatched F-16s in March to the U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment in Poland for joint training.
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Lee Feinstein, a former US ambassador to Poland, is a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.