The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted an on-the-record press round table discussion with President Andrzej Duda of the Republic of Poland on March 30.
President Duda discussed many issues facing Poland including domestic concerns, the recently announced “European Reassurance Initiative,” the on-going refugee crisis, Russia's actions in Ukraine, and Poland's priorities for the NATO alliance in the run up to the summit in Warsaw. Journalists in the room representated a dozen major news outlets including Bloomberg, ABC News, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Associated Press, Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Bloomberg View, Voice of America, Wall Street Journal, Defense One and POLITICO. Though yesterday's event was restricted to invited press, the audio recording of the English translation from the event is available.
President Duda said the a "permanent, intense, rotational presence" of NATO troops in Poland is necessary to adequately deter Russian "imperialist foreign policy" and protect Poland, the "key to the Baltic States." He went on to explain that he welcomes increased US military involvement in Eastern Europe, and that he "believes it is in the best interest of the US to not have war in Europe," in reference to current U.S. presidential candidates alluding to U.S. retreat from NATO.
While moderating the discussion, GMF's President Karen Donfried noted GMF's long history of working on issues related to Poland, including security and NATO, through its office in Warsaw and broader work in the region. In fact, GMF's leading NATO Advisory Panel recently released a report, NATO in a World of Disorder: Making the Alliance Ready for Warsaw, detailing what NATO needs to prioritize to be a modern security force and make the most of its upcoming summit in Warsaw.
In the run-up to July’s NATO Summit in Warsaw, critical security questions for Poland, the region, and the transatlantic partnership abound. President Duda addressed Poland’s priorities as it hosts the NATO Summit this summer, believing that the moment is right for all 28 NATO Allies to come together to decide on effective, ambitious policy initiatives.