Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel Lawton’s Remarks at M1A1 FMS Case Signing Ceremony

January 4, 2023

Wesoła, Poland


Mr. Deputy Prime Minister Błaszczak, Major General Jabłoński, Brigadier General Lubas, respected leaders and members of the U.S. and Polish armed forces, thank you for being here for another historic day. Ambassador Brzezinski regrets he couldn’t be with us this afternoon, but he and all of us at the American Mission in Poland are looking forward to what the future holds in 2023 for the United States and Poland.

There are so many possibilities, and our partnership has never been more important. In the almost eleven months since Russia’s brutal further invasion of Ukraine, Poland has shown extraordinary wisdom, generosity, and strength to bolster Ukraine’s security and to assist Ukrainian refugees. And the United States has been with you every step of the way. We have stood shoulder to shoulder with our trusted NATO Ally Poland, to provide military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

So, in February when President Duda asked President Biden to help accelerate Poland’s defense modernization program – our answer was a resounding YES.

Poland’s purchase of an additional 116 Abrams tanks is not just a regular sale, it’s part of President Biden’s pledge. We have strived to deliver our strongest and most reliable military capabilities to Poland on an urgent basis.

The United States took enormous steps to make this happen at a rapid pace. Special Defense Acquisition Funds ensured production of Poland’s Abrams tanks could begin in August. Funding from the “Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act” (AUSAA) was used to defray a portion of the cost. Because of these efforts, Poland’s tanks will begin arriving in Poland in the coming months!

On behalf of the U.S. Government, I thank you, Poland, for your intense focus on enhancing NATO capabilities. Your leadership helps like-minded countries around the worldstand strong against Russian aggression every day. We are proud to be your reliable Ally, partner, and friend.