Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma and Ambassador Mark Brzezinski’s Interview with TVN

15 May 2023

Michal Sznajder, TVN: (My guest is U.S. Deputy Secretary of State) Richard Verma. Good afternoon, sir. Thank you very much for joining us. Thank you for your time, sir. You have met with Ukrainian youth, with Ukrainian children here in Warsaw at the Development and Educational Center, what are your thoughts?

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma: First of all, it’s so inspiring to be here at the UNICEF facility that’s taking care of children and family members who have had to flee Ukraine during this time of war and conflict. What we’ve heard is that they were taken in here by the Polish people and by this great international organization. As I’ve met the family members and the children, and just seeing the range of activities they’re doing, and the great collaboration and teaching that’s going on here, it’s a very inspiring and very hopeful place. That in a incredibly difficult time, that everyone has stood up to support these brave people from Ukraine, particularly the people of Poland. And I just want to say, on behalf of the United States and the State Department how grateful we are to the people of Poland for all that they’ve done during a very, very difficult time. Economically, militarily, diplomatically, they’ve really been such leaders.

Michal Sznajder, TVN: So there is this awareness of these efforts in Washington.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma: Oh, more than awareness. You saw the President was here; you’ve seen 150 members of Congress have been here. This effort that we’re all engaged in, is not possible without Poland’s leadership. We’ve seen it; we feel it; we’re so grateful for it.

Michal Sznajder, TVN: It’s also one could assume a time when it becomes visible, what the shared values are. Transplanting the values.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma: Absolutely. That’s at the heart of our relationship. Those values are so critically important. And it’s why we’re such great partners together; it’s the glue that holds us together.

Michal Sznajder, TVN: So it’s safe to assume that this is a time during your visit, when you will also be emphasizing the American commitment to European allies.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma: One hundred percent, and I will say: I’ve been in this job as Deputy Secretary for not a very long time. This is my first international trip. This is the first country that I visited. That’s not by accident; that’s by design, to show our incredible commitment and future commitment to this country and to our partnership with Poland.

Michal Sznajder, TVN: And the commitment to shared values …

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma: 100%

Michal Sznajder, TVN: … how significant is that?

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma: Well, again, it’s exceptionally important. You know, you can have a transactional relationship, or you can have a full scale relationship built on on values and shared beliefs. We have that much more comprehensive relationship with people to people ties, educational ties, trade ties, security ties. Now we face this challenge together, and we are going to be in this until we see the right result. That’s what we’re working towards.

Michal Sznajder, TVN: This time when we’re speaking today, is also an important day. You spoke about the shared security cooperation and the first HIMARS delivered to Poland.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma: We were there to see the delivery of the HIMARS. That’s the kind of capability we’re talking about. HIMARS has been a very effective platform in the war. We’re so glad to see the HIMARS here to give Poland that capability that’s so important. It’s just one example of many of our defense collaboration to give Poland this incredible capability, also an interoperable capability to make our forces and NATO forces and Polish forces much more interoperable. So I think this is a great story. This incredible kind of military assistance leads to deterrence that leads to greater peace and stability.

Michal Sznajder, TVN: Deputy Secretary Richard Verma, thank you very much for your time.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma: Thank you, appreciate it.

Michal Sznajder, TVN: Mr. Ambassador, we are speaking on an extremely significant day, on the day of the delivery of the HIMARS system in Poland.

Ambassador Brzezinski: Yes, I was able to join the US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma, who’s making his first overseas trip as Deputy Secretary. And he chose to come to Poland. And on this day, the first HIMARS are arriving in Poland. This is the state of the art, most sophisticated defense technology that America could transfer to Poland. It’s such a significant moment. As someone with Polish roots, I thought of the words of General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who said, the “Za wasza wolnosc i nasza” – for your freedom, and ours. That’s what this day symbolizes.

Michal Sznajder, TVN: And there will be more to be expected.

Ambassador Brzezinski: There will be more; and there will be Abrams; and there’ll be Patriots; and there willll be Apaches. This is an intense, closely synchronized, increasingly interoperable, defense relationship. That’s the essence of the special friendship between America and Poland today and tomorrow.

Michal Sznajder, TVN: Sir, thank you very much for your time.

Ambassador Brzezinski: Thank you for having me.