How Pro-American Poland Is Digging a Transatlantic Rift on Democratic Values

President Duda is not even trying to win President Biden’s favour

8 February 2022

Adam Leszczyński

Marcin Król Fellow

Relations with the US are low in Warsaw.

When President Biden on 19 January told astonished reporters that he ‘expects’ Russia to invade Ukraine, the reaction in the Polish media and among the political class was quick — condemnation and deep disappointment, both on the right and the left. ‘Biden shows weakness, which is an invitation to invasion’ — wrote Sławomir Sierakowski, an influential columnist, who is close to the politicians of Civic Platform, the largest opposition party. The administration tried to backpedal desperately, but a bad impression remained.

The obvious American helplessness seemed to confirm the worst stereotypes about the Biden administration — that it is weak on Russia, weak on European security, spineless and undecided, capable of issuing only empty threats. The Polish government also tried to test Biden’s mettle — Mark Brzezinski, the new US ambassador to Warsaw, had to wait almost half a year — until December 2021 — before he was formally accepted by the Law and Justice government. 

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Adam Leszczyński

Marcin Król Fellow

Marcin Król Fellow at Visegrad Insight. Journalist, sociologist and historian with an equal interest in academia as well as working as a senior writer at OKO.press, a non-profit, investigative journalist and fact-checking project, created to preserve freedom of speech and secure access to information in Poland. His main focuses are on Polish politics and history, with special emphasis on the government’s politics of memory.

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