Blinded by Washington

Events Surrounding the 80th Commemoration of the Invasion of Poland Laid Bare the Country's Current Security Issues

12 September 2019

Marcin Zaborowski

Senior Associate

Unlike 1939, when Poland was weak, its allies unreliable and the international system in chaos, today’s security situation looks brighter. Betting on a bilateral relationship with Trump, however, risks a repetition of past mistakes.

On 1 September, Poland commemorated the outbreak of the Second World War. Just over 80 years ago, Nazi Germany attacked its neighbour in a strong westward push, later joined by the Soviet Red Army through Poland’s eastern border. A decade ago, the 70th anniversary was marked by the attendance of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the start of a short-lasting reset in Polish-Russian relations.

This time round Russia was not invited, and the star performance was meant to be provided by US President Donald Trump. While the current Polish government has frosty relations with many other EU member states and is facing criticism for its disrespect of the rule of law and media freedom, the good relationship with Trump provides much-needed relief for Warsaw.

New transatlantic partnership

Contrary to former US President Barack Obama, Trump has offered no criticism of Poland’s backsliding of democratic standards. Moreover, bilateral cooperation in terms of military and energy has intensified in recent years.

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Marcin Zaborowski

Senior Associate

Visegrad Insight Senior Associate and Editor-in-Chief of Res Publica Nowa

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