Ambassador Mark Brzezinski’s Interview with TVN24

9 August 2022

Adam Krajewski, TVN24: Welcome, Mr. Ambassador. Thank you for being here. This is not your first visit in Gdansk, but what are your impressions after visiting Gdansk for the second time?

Ambassador Brzezinski: Thank you, Adam, for having me.  Gdansk is such an important city in terms of Poland’s history, in terms of its memory of the people fighting for independence, and freedom and their rights – so symbolic for today’s moment. And it’s a place where we have so many American businesses invested in. I met with more than 20 representatives of American businesses invested in the Gdansk area, Boeing, Amazon, Flex, Intel, a number of others to hear their story. And then of course, in Redzikowo we have American troops who are working shoulder to shoulder with Polish troops, and it sends the message. It sends a message to Putin, that we’re going to protect each other.  We’re going to protect every square inch of Poland from what he’s doing in the east.

Adam Krajewski, TVN24: About Redzikowo base: Can you tell us when the base will be fully operational?

Ambassador Brzezinski: I can tell you, Adam, that the timing is going extremely well. The construction is very much underway. I don’t want to reveal more than that. This is among the most sensitive technologies any two countries can ever collaborate on.  It’s about missile defense.  It’s about literally a technology that involves something similar to two bullets colliding up in space together.  That’s American soldiers and Polish soldiers and engineers working together to eventually execute this very important defense technology together, and the timing is going extremely well. I was extremely pleased to see the synchronicity of the American footprint at Redzikowo with the Polish military footprint, and also with Redzikowo Town and troops and to see how the American troops are assimilated, like citizens of Pomorskie, in that area, going to the schools, taking part in the community events, because we are also members of your community through that military footprint at Redzikowo.

Adam Krajewski, TVN24: Mr. Ambassador, in three weeks, we will have another anniversary of World War Two which as you know, broke out here in Gdansk. And now after all these years we have another war in Europe. I’m talking about Ukraine, of course.  What’s your opinion about the war now after five months of the conflict?

Ambassador Brzezinski: Sure. It’s so important, Adam, that you brought up the important commemoration of World War Two quickly approaching in three weeks here – because doesn’t the footage that we’re seeing come out of Ukraine, remind us of World War Two? Doesn’t the footage coming out of Ukraine remind us of atrocities committed during World War Two, and this time by Russian soldiers in Ukraine? It is appalling to see what Putin is doing in Ukraine. And it is important to invoke the words “Let’s never forget this.” Let’s track down the perpetrators of these crimes. Let’s absolutely collect the evidence that we need to.  Because quite frankly, life is long, and we will go after those who are committing war crimes. We will go after those who are committing genocide in Ukraine. We will not forget what is happening there. And so it’s an important commemoration, what you bring up three weeks from now.  But I think it’s important also to to state that we stand with the people of Ukraine, not just in word, but in deed.   We are supplying them so that they can fight, so that they can resist, and so that they can do what they do. And we have more than 10,000 troops on Poland’s soil right now, spread out all over the country. And that is not by accident, all on Polish bases. And we are ready to protect Poland.

Adam Krajewski, TVN24: Talking about American troops in Poland: earlier today you visited the European Solidarity Center and you said that American troops that are deployed in Poland should visit the center. Why?

Ambassador Brzezinski: Because our military is in Poland to protect democracy, freedom, rule of law, to protect values, to protect principles. And that’s what the European Solidarity Center absolutely conveys in terms of its themes, in terms of its displays, in terms of its messages. You know, my late father Zbigniew Brzezinski loved the people of Gdansk because they had been willing to show over the decades, during World War Two, during the era of martial law and the solidarity period, and now once again, that they’re willing to stand up and fight for causes much bigger than themselves. We’re at that kind of inflection point right now, where we have to stand up together and engage in alignment and sacrifices in order to help others, in this case the people of Ukraine.  I’m pleased to see how much the US and Poland are doing together today in terms of military cooperation; in terms of humanitarian relief; in terms of business to business collaboration and new ideas and doing innovation execution; and in terms of the connectivity between our peoples.  Never before have America and Poland so closely collaborated, because never have we had a situation where we both share the same freedom at the same time. Of course in history, America has fought for Poland’s freedom; Poland has fought for America’s freedom, but we share the same freedom. And we also share the same crisis, the crisis in Ukraine. We’ve never collaborated as closely before.

Adam Krajewski, TVN24: How did Europe change after about five months of this conflict and what is your prediction about the situation for the months that are yet to come?

Ambassador Brzezinski: Well, I have been impressed especially, quite frankly, by the leadership of President Joe Biden, by how much he has gotten done in terms of maintaining Alliance unity. You know, I’m the President’s personal representative in Poland. So you’ll probably say that I’m partial, but I just feel that President Biden is just absolutely killing it in terms of foreign affairs. He is calling all the right shots, to make sure this war doesn’t expand, to make sure the alliance remains unified over dozens of countries that have lots of differing self interests. He is maintaining Alliance unity. That’s not an easy thing to do. And he’s doing it.  In Poland in particular, a country that I care personally and deeply for, his announcement over a month ago to make the US Army (Fifth Corps) Forward Command Headquarters in Poznan permanent.  Now it’s been renamed under the name Kosciuszko – the US Forward Command Headquarters in Poznan.  To make that permanent is historic, and a tectonic shift.   I just so appreciate the work the Biden administration has been able to do here in Poland with President Duda, with Prime Minister Morawiecki, with Minister Blaszczak, to get all this done so quickly. We are truly shoulder to shoulder in the face of a terrible threat.

Adam Krajewski, TVN24: Last question, Mr. Ambassador, what are your plans for this evening? and I heard that you were fishing?

Ambassador Brzezinski: Yes, I am going to have dinner with a Polish couple that have been very much involved on the Polish business scene, to listen and learn from them about what they’re seeing and experiencing on the business side.  Then tomorrow, after visiting Flex, the business here, I’m going to go fishing in the Baltic Sea. So I hope that you wish me luck, Adam.

Adam Krajewski, TVN24: Yes, of course.

Ambassador Brzezinski: Because I was the US ambassador in Sweden for four years. I actually went fishing a number of times in Sweden. I didn’t catch a single fish. So if I catch even one fish tomorrow in the Baltic Sea, it will be way better than I ever did in Sweden. So I hope I have luck.