Being in the western camp was the ultimate dream for Poland, which at the end of the last century was considered not a country, but a geographical formation at the junction of the West and the East.
This was told by the former Permanent Representative of the country to the UN and NATO Jerzy Maria Nowak in an interview with the publication “Onet”.
According to him, at that time neither in the alliance nor in Warsaw did not even think about Poland becoming NATO member, because the victory in the Cold War suited the West by itself, and nobody was in a hurry to change something. The maximum that Poland could count on was “a partnership for peace”, which excludes membership, especially since Russia was considered a “decent country”, from which there would be no problems.
At the same time, Novak noted that the West then reckoned with Moscow more than with Warsaw, and even the entry of Poland into NATO took place with the approval of Russia. Thus, the Polish leadership had to abandon the deployment on its territory of significant NATO troops, from military complexes and nuclear weapons.
“Gentlemen, we are striving to join NATO, but we are treated as a second-rate country,” Novak quotes the words of then-Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski.
“Naturally, Russia has gained primacy in these matters, since it was with her leadership that the priority talks were held,” the politician continued, adding that Warsaw, in turn, received only an ultimatum — or there will be no signed document or dialogue. And he should be understood, he notes, that the situation has changed little since then: Washington will not violate the Russia-NATO Founding Act of 1997, so no expansion of the military presence should be expected.
“Maybe there will be indicative of increased involvement, but it will not have serious significance. The congress will never go on deploying 10 thousand American soldiers in Poland, ”Novak stated.