Soloch: Trump's visit has met our expectations
"President Trump's visit has met our expectations. The U.S. have confirmed the alliance with Poland, and for the first time we got a confirmation of keeping guarantees included in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty", said Paweł Soloch, The Head of the National Security Bureau, this Friday.
Donald Trump, the President of the U.S., visited Warsaw on 5 and 6 July. On Thursday he talked with President Andrzej Duda, met with the leaders of the Three Seas Initiative countries, and delivered a speech in the Krasinski Square.
When asked, during an interview for Radio Zet, if the President's visit was "a dream that came true", Soloch replied that it surely came up to the expectations. "It met expectations and even exceeded them – I am thinking about President Trump's speech in the Krasinski Square", he added. Soloch emphasized that it was "a very good visit that strengthened the position of Poland."
"Most of all, we had expected a confirmation of the military alliance between the U.S. and Poland, and we got it", claimed Soloch. To the journalist's comment suggesting that safety guarantees were not the most important part of the speech, Soloch replied that such confirmations were expressed also outside of this speech. When asked why during the press conference Trump said that such topic had not been covered, the Head of the NSB said: "I talked with the U.S. officials [...], and they explained that when the President referred to safety guarantees, he meant some long term agreement about the U.S. troops staying in Poland."
"For the first time we heard a confirmation, here in Warsaw in Poland, after an invite send by the Polish President[...], of keeping guarantees from the Article 5 (of the North Atlantic Treaty; it says that an armed attack against one member state means an attack against all the members – PAP, Polish Press Agency); Russian political actions were criticized and condemned; an offer of energy cooperation was made", mentioned Soloch. He also indicated that "everyone was afraid that (President Trump) would come here with a message about divisions in Europe", however, according to Soloch, he said something opposite and presented Poland as an example of the Western unity.
Soloch was also asked about Trump's words who, during the press conference with President Duda, said that there would be "many more U.S. gas shipments ", but "maybe we get your price up a little bit."
The NSB Head said that "the American will is the most important thing, as it's also the business will." According to Soloch, Trump showed a "typically American" attitude. He added that the U.S. behavior "always kind of (...) mixes references to values with references to business." However, Soloch emphasized that "80 percent of the Krasinski Sqaure speech included references to pure values." "I would not underestimate it", he said.
The NSB Head also mentioned the importance of gas supply diversity. Asked, what percentage of Polish gas needs could be covered with the U.S. supplies, he said that "the possibilities are wide", taking into account that Poland had also signed a gas supply agreement with Qatar, and "Norwegian option is opening."
The Patriot air defense system was also tackled in the interview. On Thursday, Antoni Macierewicz, the Minister of National Defense, who was informing about a memorandum between Polish and American Defense Ministries, said that the U.S. government agreed to sell to Poland the state-of-the-art Patriot air defense batteries.
Soloch admitted that the amount of PLN 30 billion that needs to be paid for the Patriot system is "colossal sum of money, but safety is a costly business." "These batteries can intercept rockets attacking our territory. We believe that this weapon, together with other artillery systems, will exert mostly a scare off effect, and that we will never have to use it", said Soloch, adding that Poland needs such arms.
Źródło: PAP/tłumaczenie intertext.com.pl