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Ex-Polish president lashes out at authors of new national security strategy

Poland’s new national security strategy designates Russia's "aggressive actions" as the greatest threat, according to the document

WARSAW, May 20. /TASS/. The authors of Poland’s new national security strategy, which designates Russia as the greatest threat, are stuck in the past, ex-Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa said in an interview with TASS.

"They don’t think ahead. They don’t have any ideas. They seek to build something on old foundations," he said, commenting on the document adopted by the Polish authorities.

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the country’s new national security strategy on May 12. It is a core document for Poland for years ahead, on which documents concerning defense and security issues are based. The previous national security strategy was adopted in 2014.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Munich Security Conference called for stopping attempts to promote the phantom idea of "a Russian threat" and move on to dialogue on security issues in Europe based on the principle of equal and indivisible security enshrined in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the 1990 Charter of Paris for a New Europe and the Astana Declaration adopted at the 2010 summit of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Mending bilateral relations

Russia and Poland can improve relations, if they sit down at the negotiating table and begin discussing the future, leaving the past to historians, Lech Walesa told TASS.

"There were good things and bad things in our relationship. The Soviet army helped liberate, more to the point it was this army essentially that liberated Poland [from fascism]. And for this, the soldiers deserve eternal praise," Walesa pointed out.

"But at the same time, they forced a system upon us that we did not want and which did a lot of harm and our national heroes were killed. The issue is how to separate the good, the heroism of the Soviet army and the liberation from the subsequent lack of freedom. This has to be separated and should not be mixed," the former leader of the Solidarity trade union movement noted.

Walesa said he was doing everything to make the two countries’ chilly relations get better. "Most Poles want change. We are closer to Moscow than to Washington. But it is necessary that high-ranking individuals should put forward the proposal," the Polish politician said, stressing that he believed that the offer to sit down at the negotiating table should come from Russia.

"It is always the case that the one who is bigger makes an offer to the one who is smaller and not vice versa. That is why, we expect [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to draw up a proposal and invitation to the negotiating table and publicly say that we must talk about what the entire world needs. The head of a large state must put forward initiatives," he insisted.

"I would use requests or a plea to make the parties sit down at the negotiating table. It is necessary to separate our past, which has to be reckoned with, but this should be done by others. While we must think about the future," Walesa stressed.

The former Polish leader also highlighted essential issues for the entire world, namely the coronavirus pandemic and environmental problems.

"That is why, it is necessary to separate yesterday, today and tomorrow as soon as possible and start to talk. Otherwise, we won’t survive," the politician emphasized.