There was a sharp exchange of opinions between former Prime Minister Beata Szydło and the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Radosław Sikorski. Politicians clashed over the circumstances of the creation of the anti-missile shield in Redzikowo. They accused each other of formulating lies.
In the second half of December, the American anti-missile shield in Redzikowo near Słupsk reached operational readiness.
Why is the shield in Redzików so important?
The shield is equipped with a long-range reconnaissance radar and 24 RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 interceptors, designed to combat short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
This is the most important military investment of the United States in our country. The shield in Redzikowo is intended to protect not only Poland, but also other NATO members in Central and Eastern Europe.
It is worth noting that Vladimir Putin tried to prevent the shield from being created and falsely presented it as a threat to Russia.
Szydło: The shield design ended up being scrapped
On Monday, January 1, former Prime Minister and currently MEP of Law and Justice Beata Szydło wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the shield in Redzikowo could have been built earlier. Let us recall that the construction of the facility began in 2016, i.e. when Szydło was prime minister.
“One of the biggest nonsense regularly uttered by Tusk and his people is the one about alleged ‘quarrels with allies’. Meanwhile, after taking power in 2007, Tusk caused a crisis in relations with the US, which resulted in the termination of the US anti-missile shield project. The PiS government has restored relations with the US and built Poland’s strong position in NATO,” wrote Szydło.
“Events like this show the power of alliances.”
She argued that the effects of Poland’s very good relations with the United States and the North Atlantic Alliance could be observed in 2021-2022.
“When first many countries rushed to support Poland during the hybrid attack from Belarus, and then when Russia’s invasion against Ukraine began. Such events show the strength of alliances and their practical importance,” added the former prime minister.
Sikorski: Changing the concept was an American decision
Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski responded to Szydło’s entry. He pointed out that the contract for the construction of the anti-missile shield in Redzikowo was concluded in 2008.
A year later, the new administration of President Barack Obama decided to withdraw from the project, but ultimately only a protocol was signed that modified the earlier agreement.
“Ms. Beata Szydło is repeating PiS lies again. The shield project was not “broken up” – the finished base in Redzikowo was just taken over by the US Navy (United States Navy – ed.) – and the change of the technical concept was an American decision, not a Polish one. I would expect elementary knowledge from the former prime minister,” Sikorski wrote.
“Tusk’s arguments with the Americans in 2008”
Szydło then pointed out the conversation between Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President George Bush in 2008. The transcript of the conversation was revealed last year.
It shows that Tusk was undecided regarding the proposal submitted by the Americans. He argued that Putin is not “enthusiastic” about building an anti-missile shield in Poland.
“Sikorski, just like Tusk, is trying to erase the history of the Platform’s rule before 2015. They think that Poles do not remember what the Platform did a dozen or so years ago. Tusk’s quarrels with the Americans in 2008 were widely reported. The Americans started building the shield in Poland only in 2016,” Szydło replied.
“What did President Lech Kaczyński thank me for?”
Sikorski then referred to President Lech Kaczyński’s statement from 2008, who said that the signing of the agreement on the construction of the shield was also Sikorski’s achievement.
The point is that Sikorski – who was then the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the PO-PSL coalition government – completed the negotiations on the construction of the shield, which began during the rule of the PiS-LPR-Samoobrona coalition.
“A puzzle for Prime Minister Beata Szydło. If the anti-missile shield project was “broken up” by the PO-PSL government, then why did President Lech Kaczyński thank me? – added Sikorski.