Here are some of his answers to questions from journalists of the publication.
- What picture of the world do you have after the G7 and NATO summits, before the meetings of Kim Jong-un and Trump in Singapore and the president of the United States with the leader of Russia in Helsinki?
- Please note that all these meetings took place only within a month. I would characterize this as a kind of illustrative example of Donald Trump’s policy toward Western partners. Regardless of where and with whom to meet, the US president acted to weaken the EU and transatlantic relations.
- Even so?
- After the NATO summit in Brussels, recognized the EU, Russia and China as enemies of the United States. He later added that this is a trade enemy, but he put the EU on a par with Putin and communist China. He used harsh words. Saying “enemy”, he probably meant “competitor”, but unfortunately, such and not other words left the world. The Helsinki Summit was a meeting of two partners who want to dismantle the European Union. The words that sounded there were bad for the EU and the Western world.
It all started with Trump's dispute with Western leaders during the G7 countries summit. Then he gave a hand to Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, a man who should be tried by the tribunal in The Hague. A NATO summit in Brussels revealed Trump's true face. Despite the fact that his rhetoric against partners was supposed to be disciplinary, in fact, the US president reprimanded European leaders. How did the Allies react? They used cautious language of diplomacy and confirmed the unity of NATO. Between the lines one could, however, read that the transatlantic relationship was not strengthened.
- The case is complicated by the latest statement by Donald Trump about Montenegro. An American journalist asked why his son should fight for this Balkan country in the event of a conflict. The president of the United States replied that he was asking the same question.
- Donald Trump, the leader of the largest power in NATO, should have answered the question of a journalist unequivocally. Meanwhile, there was no such reaction. According to a significant part of the commentators, the vague answer he gave and his attitude may cast doubt on the meaning of the existence of NATO, the collective defense and the North Atlantic Treaty’s 5 article. Putin could also have expected such behavior. For him, this could be a clear signal that on the outskirts of NATO there remains a large area of uncertainty about how the Alliance will react in the event of a crisis. It must be remembered that Putin can provoke situations, just as he tested the reaction of the Western world and NATO in 2008 in Georgia and in 2014 in Ukraine.
- What do you think is the position of Trump on the hand of Russia? Or did the Republican president become pro-Russian? After all, the politicians of this party have always been famous for their anti-Russian position.
- This is a specific process of policy implementation by the President of the United States. I want to note, however, that only him. Notice that the politics is heterogeneous. The prosecutor's office behaves differently, otherwise services. In Congress, there are also very serious frictions. Even the Republicans in large part do not fully agree with the policy of the president. And his advisers and employees concentrate on resolving the situation or explaining his words and behavior.
- President Trump adds fuel to the fire, and his entourage puts out fires?
“They all do this, along with General James Mattis, the Pentagon chief.” The president has his own goals and approaches them instinctively. I do not see here professionalism in the field of politics. This is the instinct of someone who perceives the world in a transactional dimension. This is confirmed by observations during the last NATO summit in Brussels.
However, if the main player in NATO, the United States, considers mutual union obligations as an element of a business operation, then we are dealing with a very dangerous situation. For the rest of the organization's organization, Trump sends the following message; “I can give you security as a type of service, but the financial aspect is considered the main one”.
In this philosophy there is no place for the values that formed the basis for the creation of the alliance and allowed him to win the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
- On the one hand, we have the unpredictable Trump, on the other - NATO, which does not draw conclusions and does not keep up with the security challenges. What does this lead to?
- The main problem of NATO is the issue of integration and creating its own capabilities. Without the US, the Alliance does not possess many of them. We have a problem in the independent conduct of operations. A good example was the operation in Libya after the “Arab Spring” in 2011. Several major NATO countries - led by Britain and Turkey - began hostilities there. It ended, however, with a request to the United States for operational support in the field of logistics, since these states were not able to provide it themselves.
- The Alliance should increase its potential in Europe, because it is too dependent on the United States. Spending 2 percent of GDP on defense, the NATO countries, as Trump wants, will solve the problem?
“Trump is right when he says that the US pays too much, and the European allies are too little.” Unfortunately, the formula he applied to change all this is completely unacceptable. He put an ultimatum of sorts - before the 2019 of the year, Alliance states must increase their defense spending to 2 percent of GDP. Firstly, in my opinion, this is unrealistic. Not all states have such opportunities today.
Secondly, by placing such demands, Trump recognizes security for a product that can be traded. Thirdly - it has long considered the alliance as a non-reformed relic of the past, which is outdated.
- The Russian Defense Ministry wrote on Twitter: “We are ready to implement the military agreements concluded with the United States in Helsinki”. The problem is that no one knows which agreements are in question.
“After this type of summit, a concise message is always displayed. Thus, the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, the NATO summit in Brussels, the G7 countries summit ended, but not the Trump-Putin meeting. Regarding the first three meetings, we know what was and what was not. In the case of Helsinki, we do not know what decisions were made. In this regard, I would perceive the tweet of the Ministry of Defense of Russia as an element of the information game, the purpose of which is to cause alarm and uncertainty from the opposite side.
- Russian bluff?
- It is necessary, of course, to carefully monitor the actions of the Russian side, but in the place of decision-makers, I would not start any excessive activity. Information Russians is unconfirmed. Even if it is not a bluff, you need to wait for the development of events. At present, we are not able to even guess what kind of military agreements we are talking about.
- So Putin beat trump? After the summit in Helsinki, the American leader was forced to explain a lot. Meanwhile, Putin obviously triumphed.
- In fact, the Kremlin has largely implemented its plans and goals. Sergei Lavrov, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, answering the question about how he assesses the Helsinki summit, replied: "Much better than good." And remember, this is a very sophisticated diplomat. Most often he is restrained, but here he could not hide the euphoria and the joy that was too much for him. We do not know what kind of deal Trump wanted to make during the meeting with Putin. Some commentators argue that there may have been blackmail on the part of the Russians, that they will publish certain materials that compromise Trump. This, however, we do not know. The President of the United States, however, behaved rather unnaturally: as a student in relation to his teacher. Was depressed ...
According to Kozeravsky, in the current geopolitical situation, Poland should reconsider its national security strategy, which was adopted in 2014 and is currently outdated, since the security architecture in the world and in Eastern Europe has changed dramatically.
The expert believes that Warsaw should not support the destructive actions of Trump towards NATO and the EU. At the same time, Poland should maintain the best relations with the United States, but not at the expense of relations with the EU, because the European Union, along with NATO, is the second “insurance policy” for the country. The Polish leadership, according to Kozeravsky, should strive to improve relations with countries such as France and Germany, adopt a roadmap for joining the euro zone, and take a more active part in EU defense initiatives.
In addition, from the point of view of an expert, Poland should strive to normalize mutual relations with the Russian Federation. And, since Warsaw is not able to influence the Kremlin directly, it is necessary to try to influence Moscow indirectly, through its membership in international organizations such as NATO, the EU or the UN.
It should be added that the summit in Helsinki was also discussed at the conference of the former Polish ambassadors, who, following its results, wrote the appeal “On Security of the Republic of Poland. Threats and challenges.
According to the publication Onet.pl, former diplomats expressed their concern about the security of Poland in the context of the international situation:
After the NATO summit and the meeting of the US and Russian presidents in Helsinki, there is growing concern about the predictability of the international order, as well as about the future of Polish security. Domestic policy and foreign current authorities of the country do not respond to the challenges faced by Poland.
The document says that US President Donald Trump "is trying to impose new rules on the world", and Russia "is trying to destroy NATO and the EU":
Signals are concerned about the conditional and selective interpretation of security guarantees for the allies, about the possibility of withdrawing troops from Europe, defining NATO as an “outdated” organization, and the EU as an “enemy.”
According to former ambassadors, in the conditions of "sharp changes in the world order, especially dangerous for the country," Poland "must strengthen its position both in the EU and in NATO, and strive to preserve their integrity."
A well-known Polish public figure and expert on security and geopolitics Andrzej Zapalowski also touched upon the themes of the Helsinki summit. Zapalovsky is known in the country for his severe criticism of the pro-American policies of the Polish authorities and in favor of conducting a subjective foreign policy. He is also popular in Polish patriotic and nationalist circles.
In conversation with the portal Kresy.pl The expert noted that reaching agreements between Moscow and Washington was predictable:
First of all, it has long been known that it will reach such an agreement between the United States and Russia. We did not know only the specific conditions of the political cuisine in order to decide on the time when it comes to that. Secondly, the United States has begun military, economic, and political confrontation in most of the important points of the world, including with the European Union. You can not be a world superpower, which is constantly at war with everyone. Trump had to realize that if within a few years, so to speak, he did not put Russia on his knees, then there is no time to try to do it further and you need to agree. This thing was known.
Zapalovsky noted that in this situation, Poland is just an element of the US geopolitical game:
Trump showed one thing that Poland is an element of the US game. And this is not the main, only important. In this regard, sometimes the interests of important allies should be sacrificed for the strategic goals of the United States. From here, I said from the very beginning that this game with bases, etc., is a complete misunderstanding, and the naivety of many Polish politicians and consultants was clearly demonstrated. Polish politicians think more with dreams and ideas than with reality.
According to the expert, Poland should develop its own armed forces, and not rely on the United States:
As I said earlier: if the US wants to help us with bases, then let them give us weapons for rent, and we will have another tank we’ll create a division for ourselves, and we won’t rely on the political situation, which is always temporary, because there is a certain game.
He also stressed that if an agreement is not reached between Russia and the United States regarding Ukraine, this territory will be completely destabilized before the presidential elections or during the election campaign before the upcoming parliamentary elections there:
Of course, both Russia and the United States will continue to compete here, but this agreement, which happened, seems to limit the field, that there will not be a very bloody resolution of this rivalry.
According to Zapalovsky, the situation in the Middle East was discussed in Helsinki:
Russia through its consolidation in Syria is the foundation for everything here. The US and Israel are also playing to ensure that Iran received nuclear weapon. Hence, in particular, Trump talks with North Korea so that these weapons do not get from there to Iran. There are also, probably, negotiations that Moscow would not help the authorities in Tehran in this matter, because if Iran gets nuclear weapons, it will change the entire security system in the Middle East. Looking at the global goals for the United States and Israel, the question of whether or not there will be any American division in Poland is unimportant for Americans. It is very clearly visible. Moreover, the United States shows the whole EU that they are no longer a naive political player, sitting on the back of which the Germans are doing their economic interests all over the world.
According to the expert, the summit raised the issue of energy and gas supply in Europe.
In addition to energy from renewable sources, Germany focuses its entire energy strategy on gas supplies from Russia. So 10 years ago it was known that Germany chose such a direction, and such current, fundamental elements of security as energy should not be surprising. If there are any politicians in Poland who are surprised by this, it means that they do not read the main German security documents that are published in Germany. The same was known for the USA. In this regard, there is no other option than the fact that Germany, Austria and Italy will receive gas from Russia. Therefore, the policy of the current Austrian or Italian government is uniquely pro-Russian, and if the government in Warsaw is surprised by this, it means that they are completely unprofessional politicians who do not bear any responsibility for what they are doing, do not take into account the strategic interests of these states.
With regard to Germany, the expert believes that the latter is actually “earning money” on the United States, through its exports to this country, without making its own contribution to the security system:
In such a system, the United States actually contains the military security of Germany. Looking objectively, I am not surprised that Trump is acting this way because anyone would be outraged in a situation where the United States, taking care of its interests, finances Europe’s security, but it does not want to pay for its security and still does business with the US rivals. I am surprised at the naivety of Polish politicians who, in Eastern politics, carry out the actions expected by many world powers, which are absolutely not in the interests of the Polish state. Here again the mediocrity of the Polish political class is visible.
Zapalovsky was critical of the possible supply of US gas to the European market:
It must be remembered that Russian gas will always be cheaper than American. It does not cause the slightest doubt. Americans can supply gas to Poland, because the Poles themselves “refuse” a certain game for cheap gas. On the other hand, for strategic reasons, no one in Germany or Italy will replace gas transported by land, especially safe from the point of view of delivery by gas pipelines, by gas transported by sea. It is not surprising that American gas, even if the Americans tried to sell it at dumping prices, would never be attractive from the point of view of the strategic security of some states.
In addition, from the point of view of an expert, the United States has long understood that the issue of Crimea is closed:
The question remains of the price that Russia must pay for the official recognition of this state of affairs. So “dying for the Crimea”, as some Polish politicians said, testifies, to put it mildly, about their lack of professionalism.
As Zapalovsky believes, the United States will try to drag Russia to its side:
Russia is currently the “bride of the marriage” because it can play with the United States or with China. If we are talking about the political, economic, demographic potential of China, in comparison with the raw material potential of Russia, from a strategic perspective, this is a giant threat to the United States. There will be a billion people in Africa and Asia, and China will largely penetrate into these continents for many years. Now Russia is more and more penetrating into these areas. It pushes the United States out.
In conclusion, the expert summarized that the future of Ukraine will be decided only by Washington and Moscow:
Over 30 years, the United States can be in a catastrophic situation from an economic point of view, as well as from a security point of view. China and Russia are developing, so that any of them need to be dragged as a partner to their side or neutralized. The question of some kind of Ukraine or its division therefore becomes, exclusively, a matter of agreement between these states. Because there is no reason to hide that practically what will happen in Ukraine will never be decided by Kiev, only Washington and Moscow. If Warsaw does not understand this, then we have nothing to talk about.
In general, it can be stated that the Russian-American summit held in Helsinki was an unpleasant surprise for the Polish political elites. The Polish leadership, which has relied on a strategic alliance with the United States for many years and pursued a pro-American foreign policy, is in a difficult situation after Trump’s “destructive actions toward NATO and the EU”. The political elites of the country, accustomed to acting on orders from Washington, turned out to be completely unprepared to conduct an independent subject policy.