Event Recap: Russia’s War, Not Putin’s War Poland’s Perspectives on Security in Europe

by Celine Castel, AAFSW President

His Excellency Marek Magierowski, the Polish Ambassador to the United States, shared in-depth insights into the United States special relationship with Poland, in response to the current conflict in Ukraine and the forced migration affecting the people of Poland.

The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) successfully launched the Ambassador Speaker Series program, in-person after a two year online-only event, due to the pandemic. The event took place on October 3, 2022, in the Burns Auditorium at the State Department in Washington, D.C.

AAFSW was honored to host His Excellency Marek Magierowski, the Polish Ambassador to the United States. His Excellency enlightened multiple guests and AAFSW’s members with a unique opportunity to become acquainted with the current and historic events occurring in Ukraine and Poland’s Perspectives on Security in Europe.

In 2019, Poland celebrated the 100th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with the United States. America played a key role in Poland regaining independence following World War I, and in 1919 the United States became the first major power to recognize Polish statehood. Following the democratic reforms in Poland begun in 1989, close, friendly relations have linked Poland and the United States. Bilateral political cooperation is complementary: political dialog, security, and defense as well as promotion of democratic reforms around the world. The United States strongly supported Poland’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1999.

Born in 1971, Marek Magierowski graduated from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan with a degree in Hispanic Studies. He worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist for over 20 years, including as the head of foreign affairs at Newsweek Polska” weekly, and the deputy editor-in-chief of “Rzeczpospolita. In October 2015, he left journalism to work for the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland as an expert on public diplomacy and was subsequently appointed Head of the Press Office of the Chancellery of the President. From June 2017 to May 2018, he served as Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Marek Magierowski served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to the state of Israel from June 25, 2018, to November of 2021.

This forum featured His Excellency’s in-depth insights into the U.S. and Polish special relationship in response to the current conflict in Ukraine. He emphasized the ripple effect of forced migration from Ukraine affecting the people of Poland. For Magierowski, defeating the Russian army is the only way out because it is not Putin’s war but Russia’s war. He believes that Ukraine can defeat the Russian army and the current events are proving him right. However, this armed conflict is still ongoing and at times it may seem that there are no rules. Its escalation has caused civilian casualties and the destruction of civilians’ infrastructures forcing over one million Ukrainian people, about 80 percent women and children, to flee their country to seek protection, safety, and assistance in Poland. The Ambassador acknowledged with immense pride how the people of Poland opened their country and their hearts to the Ukrainian refugees in the face of a ruthless and cruel enemy. There are no rules in this war, and the people of Poland are making a difference with their limitless support to not only refugees but to over 40,000 service members on NATO bases, as well.

His Excellency highlighted so many aspects of Ukraine’s conflict and “Poland’s Perspectives on Security in Europe,” reiterating the support of Russia to Putin, and that the Russian nuclear threat was genuine. His Excellency’s thorough and heartfelt presentation charmed and captivated AAFSW’s distinguished guests and members. The Q&A session was lively and spirited.

AASFW and Sheila Switzer, International Program Chair, are looking forward to inviting you to “A Journey to Bali Through Art and Dance”, an enchanting program in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy on Monday, October 24, at the Dean Acheson Auditorium, 2201 E St NW, Washington, DC, at 11:00 a.m.

A Journey to Bali Through Art and Dance – Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (aafsw.org)

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