Polish PM at New York Uni. on Poland's relations with Russia, US, EU

According to Morawiecki, aggressive Russian actions in recent years have recently changed the international context. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Poland's relations with Russia, the USA and the EU were among topics of the Wednesday discussion with the participation of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki organised as part of the Transatlantic Dialogue series at New York University (NYU).

In his speech, the prime minister emphasised that Poland is today a part of the European Union and NATO, and the relative strength of Russia is smaller than the power of the Soviet Union.

However, since President Vladimir Putin would like to restore Russia to the status of an empire, the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has become more important, Morawiecki noted.

As one of the examples of underestimating the situation on the international arena, Morawiecki pointed out insufficient defence spending of NATO member states, including Germany and France. At the opposite end of the scale he placed, Poland and Estonia.

Asked by the discussion's moderator, NYU Professor NYU Joseph H.H. Weiler, whether Europe would be able to defend itself, the head of the Polish government pointed to such initiatives as PESCO, which is a permanent structural cooperation of EU countries in the field of security and defence.

According to Morawiecki, aggressive Russian actions in recent years have recently changed the international context. In the prime minister's opinion, building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by the Germans is in fact investing money in Russian armaments. He believes there is no need for this because gas can be imported from Norway or the USA.

The Polish official argued there is no power in the world other than the US that is sufficiently credible and strong, which has interests in Europe. He noted the US attitude during the world wars and the commitment to fight against the "empire of evil." According to him, this does not exclude the fact that Europe should rely more on itself.

The Transatlantic Dialogue is an audience event and a kind of fireside chat, taking its name from the popular radio chats of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. NYU invites prominent European and American politicians to take part in the discussion.

As the moderator, NYU Professor Joseph H.H. Weiler, a specialist in the field of constitutional and international law, told PAP, US President Bill Clinton, Belgian Prime Minister and first President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, Head of the Portuguese Government Jose Manuel Barroso and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano had taken part in previous chats.