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Polish minister: China remains ‘strategic challenge,’ West must do more to counter Russia

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The U.S. and Europe need to do more to counter Russia and China or the West risks threats to the “global security architecture.” 

“I’m pretty sure that for Putin, Ukraine is just the first step,” Polish Undersecretary of State for Security Marcin Przydacz told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview during the Aspen Security Forum. “There are many other countries in his direct neighborhood which he would like to dominate, at least creating a sphere of influence, and not only this post-Soviet bloc as many of us may think.”

Poland has had a front-line view of the Ukraine invasion, acting as the main point of support from NATO and the largest haven for Ukrainian refugees fleeing their country to escape the war. Around 4,787,154 Ukrainians crossed the border into Poland – roughly half of the 9.8 million refugees that scattered into neighboring countries after the invasion started. 

That prominent role has thrust Poland once more into the spotlight as a key figure in security discussions. NATO debated trying to send Ukraine fighter planes by first placing them in Poland for troops to retrieve, and President Biden, in June, announced plans for the establishment of a new permanent U.S. Army headquarters in Poland, which Przydacz said is “very welcomed” by his country. 

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“If you asked me what we could do more, of course, the more American troops on the Polish ground, in the Polish soil, the better, so we will work on this with Washington in order to encourage them to be even more present on the … the Polish soil,” he said, highlighting the various investment opportunities for American businesses in a “stable democracy” like Poland.

The relationship between Poland the U.S. remains strong, with Przydacz describing his country as “one of the most pro-Atlantic and pro-American” countries in Europe, praising good relations between leaders of both nations.

“Whoever is sitting on the Hill and in the Oval Office, we are as follows … trying to have the best possible relations with America,” he said. “It was Ronald Reagan who paid special attention to the politics of Poland and is very much respected in Poland, and now being an ally, being a partner with Washington, we pay a lot of attention to those relations.”

“It was like this with President Trump,” he added. “There was a special, special personal relation between our two leaders, but we have managed also to establish very good relations with the current administration.”

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However, Przydacz warned that the West is “not doing enough” to combat Russia on every front, pointing to Germany as one ally with “higher” expectations who should “do much more” to support Ukraine and push back against Germany. 

“When it comes to the criticism towards Putin, it shouldn’t be only Poland, U.S. or our British allies, but also we should expect it from our German partners to do a bit more and to be a bit more active,” he said. “Let’s be ambitious and let’s let’s try to encourage our German partners to be a bit more active.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, speaks to the media before meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, not shown, at the State Dept., Friday, Feb. 4, 2022 in Washington. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, speaks to the media before meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, not shown, at the State Dept., Friday, Feb. 4, 2022 in Washington. 
(Nicholas Kamm/Pool via AP)

Poland, like the U.K. and several other nations at the forum last week, highlighted China’s outsized threat to global security. Western efforts to alienate Russia and economically deprive it appears to have provided China with the opportunity to turn Russia in a more trusted ally. 

Przydacz urged the West – specifically, America – to do more to help mitigate that threat. 

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“We do perceive China as a challenge, again, to this global security architecture,” he said. “But I believe there should be a bit of division of labor.”

“We are already on the front line in the western and eastern flank … doing our best in order to deter Russia, but whenever our allies asked us to help, we were, as a good ally, always ready to do it: In Iraq, we were with Americans; we were with Americans in Afghanistan,” he continued. 

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“Hopefully, there will be no need for any kind of that kind of operations, but we are standing by our allies in order to preserve the world we are living in.”



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