US Ambador to Poland Mark Brzezinski was honored on Tuesday with the “Man of the Year” award during the Economic Forum in Karpacz. “I am honored” – said the laureate during the gala.
Zygmunt Berdychowski, chairman of the Program Board of the Forum, emphasized that Mark Brzezinski continues the work of his father Zbigniew. “It was people like Zbigniew Brzeziński, on the one hand, and millions of Poles, Czechs, Slovaks and Hungarians, on the other, who overcame the post-Yalta division of Europe. Today, 30 years after regaining freedom and independence, our part of Europe is on fire again,” he noted.
“Today, the military, politicians, representatives of the media and civil society in Poland and Ukraine, the Baltic States, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia understand perfectly well that the American presence in this part of Europe is really the only guarantee of our security; the only guarantee that we can defend ourselves against imperialism. Today, in the relay race of generations of people defending freedom, Zbigniew Brzeziński is replaced by his son, Mark Brzezinski, said Berdychowski.
As he added, “Mark Brzezinski has been working tirelessly for American involvement in this part of Europe over the past few months.” “Thanks to his activity, his actions, politicians, representatives of the media and civil society in the US today are convinced that the heart of the Western world beats in this part of Europe” – he essed.
Mark Brzezinski stressed that he was deeply honored to receive the award. “I accept it on behalf of the entire team of the American mission in Poland,” said the ambador. “I am honored to join such exceptional figures as President Volodymyr Zełenski, former Polish presidents Lech Wałęsa and Aleksander Kwaśniewski, and Vaclav Havel,” he added.
In his opinion, “all previous laureates have one universal feature in common – attachment to democracy, the ability to create the necessary institutions and a common vision of the development of their homeland.” “They all understood that lasting reforms were not possible without the rule of law. Democracy and complex market economies depend not only on the will and fair elections, but also on the clarity of the law and the certainty that the law stands above politics,” emphasized the ambador.
“The upcoming elections in Poland are a chance to show the world that democracy is doing well,” said Brzezinski, adding that the elections must be fair.
As he pointed out, this is a very important moment in American-Polish friendship. “For over 200 years, Americans and Poles have been united by the struggle for freedom and the search for opportunities and possibilities,” said Brzezinski. “For over 200 years, both nations have been linked by a history of mutual sacrifice – sacrifice for American freedom, sacrifice for Polish freedom,” he added.
“We are currently living in a time when America and Poland share the same freedom, and now – in the face of Russian aggression – we are united again,” Brzezinski noted. “The response to the war in Ukraine turns out to be one of the momentous moments in the history of the unique Polish-American friendship,” he said. “We have proven the value of NATO, we have proven that collective defense works,” he added. “Our armed forces – being part of NATO – keep people safe. We joined forces to meet the needs of millions of people,” he noted.
Brzezinski thanked the Poles for their help to the Ukrainians. “The mobilization of Poles to help their neighbors is admired all over the world,” he said. As he pointed out, the inscription “Here you are safe”, which is located at the railway station in Przemyśl, resounds all over the world. “On behalf of President Joe Biden, I would like to thank every family in Poland that fulfills this slogan of helping Ukrainian refugees with concrete action,” he added.
“Looking to the future, we have strategic opportunities ahead of us and we must remain united,” the American ambador stressed. “The role of Poland in the reconstruction of Ukraine is particularly important. It will be a transformation of the entire region. This is a great opportunity for the next generation in Poland. Why? Because this is a unique opportunity to complete the mission – to ensure that the future of countries such as Ukraine or Moldova is permanently anchored in the Western system of values such as democracy, freedom and economic prosperity,” he noted.
Brzezinski also pointed to Poland’s relations with its allies – the European Union and its partners. “It is also important to support Ukraine economically now, especially through further actions that will ensure that Ukrainian agricultural products reach global markets,” he said. “I am full of hope for the future. It is Poles who give me this hope,” he added. “Your response to the crisis in Ukraine is now a model for other nations and even for the whole world,” he added.
“The ability to mobilize is a great national et of Polish society. This was the case during the Warsaw Uprising during World War II, during the Solidarity era and again in 2022,” he pointed out. “President Biden and I are very proud to honor and join this joint project. We showed that the democratic banner that Americans and Poles have been carrying for centuries – we will carry together also in the future” – emphasized Brzezinski. (PAP)
authors: Grzegorz Bruszewski, Mikołaj Małecki