New Possibilities Open for U.S.-Poland Relationship
While most European capitals met the election of U.S. President Joe Biden with a sigh of relief, the ruling elite in Warsaw are holding their breath. Poland is the largest NATO member bordering Russia, and it is a key U.S. security partner. The country’s ruling Law and Justice party is politically and ideologically aligned with Donald Trump, which could spell trouble given the change in the Oval Office. Yet despite the ideological differences, Biden’s administration creates greater opportunity for Poland than Trump’s ever did.
The prevailing view in Warsaw is that the four years of Trump were good for bilateral relations. In addition to closer security ties, the Trump administration made progress in key areas, from economic relations to a visa waiver program. Energy cooperation included the recent launch of a nuclear power project. But perhaps the most important asset for the Polish government was its close political relationship with the former president himself. It gave Poland space to maneuver in its often fraught relations with other EU member-states, and it boosted Law and Justice domestically. The mood right now in Warsaw is that the good times are over.