Ambassador Mark Brzezinski’s 2023 Independence Day Interviews

Ambassador Mark Brzezinski’s 2023 Independence Day Interviews with

Mateusz Szymkowiak, TVP
Tomasz Jabłoński, Polsat
Michał Sznajder, TVN 

Recorded June 22, 2023
Chief of Mission Residence, Warsaw


Ambassador Brzezinski:  Good morning, Mateus.  Happy Fourth of July!  I’m so glad to join you today.

Mateusz Szymkowiak, TVP:  Thank you very much for the invitation.  We are very, very happy.  How are you?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  I’m doing great, and thank you, Mateusz, for supporting my social media – on Instagram, Ambassadog Teddy, #AmbassadogTeddy, and thank you for your support.

Mateusz Szymkowiak, TVP:  Thank you.  It was a pleasure for us.  What kind of day – how important– is this day for the United States, for Poland, but also for the rest of the world?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Well, July 4 is our Independence Day, so it’s our most single important national celebration, where we celebrate our freedom, we celebrate our country.  The way we do it is kind of like what you see in this house – what’s happening in the backyard, with the barbecue style event, and drinks, and food, and we have some music going on today.  Sara James is playing, the Navy band is playing, and so I’m really, really excited.  That’s what Americans do, and I’m so glad to be doing it today in Poland because the American-Polish relationship today is so important; it’s so close.  We’ve never been doing as much together as we’re doing right now.

Mateusz Szymkowiak, TVP:  Great.  How would you [compare how] you celebrate today and when you are a kid?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Well, in terms of my family and many American families, we do something outside, we have a barbecue.  We cook some food, we have some drinks, we bring our families together, we get together with friends, and we take a day off.  Americans are like the Polish people, bardzo pracowity, very hardworking.  So to have a day off, where we can just kick back with our friends, that’s what we do.  But we also remember what is important about our country, our freedom, our independence, and the fact that so many people sacrificed for that.  American soldiers [are] so important to us, and today, American soldiers and Polish soldiers stand together on this Independence Day, here in Poland, making sure that every square inch of Poland is safe.

Mateusz Szymkowiak, TVP:  So [what is] the definition and prescription for freedom?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  The definition and prescription of freedom is individual autonomy and individual choice; that you choose the way you want to live, how you want to work, the way you want to love, the way you want to be.  That’s the definition, and the prescription is that you say to anyone who wants to take that away, ‘No, you can do that.’

Mateusz Szymkowiak, TVP:  And today there is a special project, yes?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Our theme for this independence celebration here at the U.S. Embassy this July is space.  There are some important reasons for that:  this year is the 550th anniversary of the birth of Nicholas Copernicus, the Polish scientist who discovered that the Earth revolves around the sun.  Much more nearer, in terms of time, is that this year, we had the chief of the U.S. space program, Bill Nelson, visit Poland, to look, to see, to try to understand how Poland and America can mesh together more closely in space, because we’re going back to the Moon, and we want to do it with international partners, including Poland.

Mateusz Szymkowiak, TVP:  [inaudible]

Ambassador Brzezinski:  We have all kinds of exhibits:  Meta has a virtual display over here that our guests can go through; Google has put up a space suit; and there’s all kinds of invocations of joint exploration in space.  You know, great science knows no borders.  That’s an important thing to understand.  To bring Americans and Poles closer together in space, which is why the chief of the U.S. space program came to Poland, is absolutely something we’re underway with.

Mateusz Szymkowiak, TVP:  So, let’s celebrate.  [What] can I wish you?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Please wish me a great Fourth of July and a Happy Independence Day.

Mateusz Szymkowiak, TVP:  Okay, thank you very much.

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Thank you, Mateusz.


Tomasz Jabłoński, Polsat:  Good afternoon, Mr. Ambassador.

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Tomek, welcome to the Chief of Mission Residence, the American people’s house in Warsaw.  Happy Independence Day!

Tomasz Jabłoński, Polsat:  I want to say it:  Happy Independence Day!

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Well, thank you so much.  This is our most important national celebration, where Americans come together with family, with friends, to celebrate our freedom and to celebrate who we are.  The diversity of America is seen in the diversity of July 4th celebrations.  Here we are today.

Tomasz Jabłoński, Polsat:  And as I know, it’s the second one of these celebrations of Independence Day in Poland – the second time.  How do you find the Polish-American relations now?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Polish-American relations are stronger than they’ve ever been.  And you have to remember this:  relations between countries are based on shared interests and different interests.  The shared interests we have with the people of Poland – on security, on humanitarian response to refugees, on business, on values, on democracy, on energy – there is so much underway right now, and it eclipses the differing interests that we have.  The Polish-American relationship is strong, it’s real, it’s grounded in true dialogue, and it’s advancing the interests of both countries.

Tomasz Jabłoński, Polsat:  We celebrate today the Independence Day of United States, but we cannot [celebrate] the independence of our neighbor, Ukraine.  Do you see any possibility to finish the war, and for how long [is the] United States going to support Ukraine?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Well, I do think that we celebrate the independence of Ukraine today, because one year into the war, we see the Ukrainians fighting with a passion and a success rate that inspires us all.  The decisions of the American government and of the American President to support the Ukrainian people in their fight until the very end is something that brings out the best when I think of my own country’s history.  When our backs were against the wall because we were attacked, because we had to go through a war, that is what we’re seeing the Ukrainian people do.  We are inspired by their fight, and they are with them.

Tomasz Jabłoński, Polsat:  We are here celebrate Independence Day, but I see one of the main areas of cooperation with Poland is energy.  What is the future of energy cooperation between the United States and Poland?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  The energy story between America and Poland is stunning.  Poland is going through an energy renaissance, and your viewers should know this:  replacing coal and replacing Russian source energy is large nuclear reactors provided by American companies, Westinghouse and Bechtel, small modular reactors, liquefied natural gas, and other alternatives like wind and others.  This is the one of the most interesting places in the world in terms of energy right now, Poland.  Poland is one of the most interesting places in the world in terms of energy.

Tomasz Jabłoński, Polsat:  Okay, the last question:  a few weeks ago, Bill Nelson, chief of NASA [was here] and the leitmotif for today’s barbeque is space.  Do you see a real possibility of a Polish astronaut going to space aboard an American spacecraft?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Well, Tomek, the arrival of the chief of the U.S. space program in Poland three weeks ago started a year and a half ago, when I began my ambassadorship to Poland.  I went to Washington, I went to NASA, and I went to the chief, and I said, ‘Bill Nelson, come to Poland, see the great science, meet young scientists, see the Polish companies that could come to NASA, meet astronauts who potentially could be part of Artemis or other missions.’  And he said, ‘Yes, Mark, I’m interested.  I’ve heard already a lot about Poland, and I want to see it for myself.’  And Bill Nelson came here, we introduced them to all kinds of Polish companies, Polish scientists, and he was impressed.  There are some Polish astronauts who are getting ready to compete for the very limited positions to get on a spaceship to go to the moon and beyond.  And you know, I’m holding my thumbs as they say, that a Pole gets onto one of those spaceships because I think it would symbolize the American-Polish special friendship like nothing else.

Tomasz Jabłoński, Polsat:  I hope he really did.  Thank you, Mr. Ambassador.

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Thank you, Tomek.


Michał Sznajder, TVN:  Good afternoon, Mr. Ambassador.

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Welcome, Michał.  Happy Independence Day!

Michał Sznajder, TVN:  Happy Independence Day.  Sir, thank you very much for the invitation; it’s great to be here.  If someone comes up to you and asks you, ‘Mr. Ambassador, how significant for you, as an American, is the Fourth of July?’ – the American Independence Day.  What do you say?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Fourth of July is our national celebration.  It’s our national celebration of American independence, American freedom, America’s history, including the sacrifice, and our shared future.  That’s why I love doing it in Poland because when I talk about our shared future with people, I’m so inspired about the possibilities of American-Polish collaboration on so many things.  So, I’m really thrilled to be celebrating this Independence Day here in Warsaw.

Michał Sznajder, TVN:  On days like this, you think about those close relations with your friends and your Allies, right?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Absolutely, this is a day where, frankly, we mesh together with our Allies – to have a drink, have some food, have some music – to celebrate all the work that we’re doing together.  Michał, America and Poland have never worked together as closely as we are working together now –  on military and security, on humanitarian response to the Ukrainian crisis, on business-to-business, on energy, on democracy and values.  It is an intensive, broad, sweeping relationship, and I’m so proud to be here as the personal representative of President Joe Biden, who loves Poland.

Michał Sznajder, TVN:  Would you say so even in these volatile times?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  These are volatile times but with good leadership.  I’m proud of what President Biden has done.  He has pulled together a coalition of very different countries to support Ukraine and, Michał, it’s working.  The Ukrainian people are winning.  Is it tough?  Of course it is.  But I think important tactical decisions have been made that prove that the West and America will be with the Ukrainian people until the very end.  And the important thing I would want to convey to your viewers is even before the Ukrainians win, there will be a transformational moment of getting ready for the rebuilding of Ukraine that will really benefit people in Poland.  Poland will be geo-strategically pivotal to the rebuilding of Ukraine, and the time to get organized, the time to get ready, is now.

Michał Sznajder, TVN:  [inaudible]

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Because we are celebrating the combination of America and Poland, in space, at my Fourth of July party.  Why are we doing that?  Because this year is the 550th anniversary of the birth that Nicholas Copernicus, and we just welcomed the chief of the U.S. space program.  His visit three weeks ago started a year and a half ago when I began my ambassadorship to Poland.  I went to Washington, I went to NASA, I went to the chief of the U.S. space program Bill Nelson, and I said, ‘come to Poland; meet the young people in Poland; meet the young scientists and innovators here; meet the entrepreneurs who are building businesses that could insinuate into NASA’s space program.’  And he said, ‘Mark, I’m interested, I want to come there, I want to learn more.’  And he did, and he had the most fantastic visit.  So, celebrating space and the combination of America and Poland in space is what we’re doing on Independence Day because space is all about the future.

Michał Sznajder, TVN:  Sir, what is the proper thing to say American person on Independence Day?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  The proper thing to say is:  Happy Fourth of July!

Michał Sznajder, TVN:  Happy Fourth of July!  Thank you very much.