Romney surprised many Americans and foreign observers by calling Russia “America’s number one geopolitical foe” in a CNN interview in March. His rather undiplomatic choice of words has been received with unease in Warsaw despite the historically close relationship between Poland and the US.
“Given the difficult situation between Russia and Poland, I think this remark was not exactly helpful,” says Marcin Zaborowski, director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw, Poland. His remark indicates how volatile a recent improvement in the Polish-Russian relations, marred by decades of animosities, still is.
After the end of the Cold War, Poland, along with other former Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe, was keen to join Western alliances like NATO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development against the wish of Russia. Poland has proved to be a loyal supporter of America’s foreign agenda, sending troops to the Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and playing a part in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program.