13:12 GMT +322 January 2019
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    A view of the Palace of Culture and Science is pictured from the newly-opened Warsaw Spire skyscraper in Warsaw, Poland

    Poland's Dependence on Washington 'Has Become Too Clear, Needs to Be Reviewed'

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    Warsaw has relied too much on Washington in its foreign policy decisions for decades, Professor Wlodzimierz Osadczy of John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin told Sputnik Polska, saying that Poland needs to "drastically review" its behavior.

    "The changes which took place in 1989 were aimed at achieving sovereignity. Poland's membership in NATO and the European Union became a recipe to achieve independence. What happened then resembles a pendulum," he said. "Poland has to a certain extent transferred its sovereignity to Western organizations. Its policy has become dependent on the United States."

    Osadczy mentioned a firestorm in the media which was sparked by "exceedingly close ties" between Polish Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz and the Pentagon, adding that this is the latest instance showing that Warsaw's dependence on Washington "has become too clear."

    The professor further mentioned that Poland has found itself in a "very sensitive" situation when the Trump administration came to power since the White House appears to be intent on limiting Washington's presence and activities overseas in a bid to focus on resolving challenges at home.

    Warsaw should adapt to these changes, but local elites have long since gotten used to "taking a cue" from abroad, he said.

    "We remember how things panned out with regard to the anti-missile shield during the Bush era. Then the Obama administration adopted a different policy toward Russia, at least at first. As a result, air defense issues took a back seat since they were no longer as relevant. What is going on with regard to the presence of US troops in this part of the world now to a large extent does not depend on decisions made at the national level, but rather on Washington's policy, which for its part takes into account developments in Russia," the analyst observed.

    Osadczy added that both the Trump administration and the Kremlin have been engaged in a close dialogue. He suggested that Poland's stance on Russia would change if relations between Washington and Moscow improve.

    "Sadly, Poland's policy has largely become instrumentalized. Poland is a large country in the region, which deserves to act independently taking its national interests into account. Sadly, the presence (or the lack) of components of a global missile defense system, as well as the foreign military deployment to the country are a testament to the fact that Poland does not play a leading part when it comes to these issues," the analyst said.

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    US military presence, foreign policy, Poland, United States, Russia
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