20th anniversary

Szeremietiew: Idea of Poland in NATO was considered madness

Former acting Defense Minister and professor at the National Defense Academy, Romuald Szeremietiew reminds us that the idea of Poland joining NATO was critcized and somewhat unbelievable in the early 1990s.

Szeremietiew told Polish Radio that he had introduced the idea of Poland in NATO as early as 1985 when he was writing the program for the Polish Independence Party, while he was actively working in the anti-communism movement.

“My postulate was then considered madness,” he claimed, adding that as the secretary of state in the Polish ministry of defense, he saw his plans come to fruition in 1999.

“It turned out, that the madman was right,” Szeremietiew said.

It turned out, that the madman was right

The professor at the National Defense Academy underlined that the concept of Poland joining NATO had many opposers in the early 90s. They argued that it was important not to anger Russia, a notion which was supported by many in the US as well, as they saw Russia as an important partner, Szeremietiew adds.

According to Szeremietiew, the relations between the US and Russia worsened when Moscow realized that the US would not agree to another Yalta Conference. That was when the US became an enemy and NATO appeared in the Russian defense doctrine.

“Russia has started an arms race with the US and Poland, due to its close relations with Washington, which is deemed an enemy by Moscow,” evaluated the professor.

“Until the United States have the largest say in NATO, until they are a superpower and are dominant, we can count on NATO,” Szeremietiew argued. “As long as the Americans are on the Eastern flank, we can sleep soundly.”

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