The new Polish government is likely to continue the same foreign and defense policies of its predecessors.
Both the foreign and defense ministers are likely to follow Poland’s traditional policy since 1989 of cultivating strong ties with the US, pursuing military and economic integration within Europe, and remaining cautious in relations with Russia. The current Foreign Minister, Stefan Meller, was associated with Solidarity and is a professional diplomat and academic, having served as Ambassador to France, and most recently, Russia. The current Defense Minister, Radek Sikorski, is Western-educated, was also associated with Solidarity, has served previously as deputy Defense Minister, and has ties to the Bush Administration.
Our Polish interlocutors emphasized that Poland will continue its attempts to define its role within NATO and the EU, and will further strengthen relations with the US. The government will face some foreign policy challenges, particularly on how to improve relations with certain members of the EU, as well as with Russia. One potential concern is whether the government will be able to execute such policies given strong Euro-skeptic and anti-Russian feelings within the governing party and its allies in the Sejm, the Polish parliament. The US, therefore, should encourage and support policies by the Polish government that coincide with US national interest. It should also provide guidance or incentives in cases where the direction of Polish government policy is unclear.