Foreign relations of Poland

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politics and government of

The Republic of Poland is a Central European country and member of the European Union and NATO, among others. In recent years, Poland has extended its responsibilities and position in European and Western affairs, supporting and establishing friendly foreign relations with both the West and with numerous European countries.

Integration with the West and Europe

After regaining independence in 1989, Poland has forged ahead on its economic reintegration with the Western world. Poland also has been an active nation in advocating European integration.

In 1994, Poland became an associate member of the European Union (EU) and its defensive arm, the Western European Union (WEU). In 1996, Poland achieved full OECD membership and submitted preliminary documentation for full EU membership. In 1997, Poland was invited in the first wave of NATO policy enlargement at the July 1997 NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain. In March 1999, Poland became a full member of NATO. Poland promoted its NATO candidacy through energetic participation in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program and through intensified individual dialogue with NATO. Poland formally joined the European Union in May 2004, along with the other members of the Visegrád group.

Poland was a part of the multinational force in Iraq.

Establishing relationships with European countries

The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the establishment of seven new sovereign states in Poland's immediate neighborhood (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia), of which Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia (through the Kaliningrad Oblast) border Poland. Poland has actively pursued good relations with all its neighboring countries, signing friendship treaties replacing links severed by the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. The Poles have forged special relationships with Lithuania and particularly Ukraine in an effort to firmly anchor these states to the West.

Due to its tragic historical experience with a repeating pattern of disloyal allies and simultaneous aggression of powerful neighbors (e.g., Partitions of Poland, Second World War), Polish foreign policy pursues close cooperation with a strong partner, one apt enough to give strong military support in times of critical situations. This creates the background of Poland's tight relations with the USA and their sensitivity in relations towards its partner within the European Union, Germany. At the same time, the equally burdened attitude towards Russia results in very tense diplomatic relations, which have been constantly worsening since Vladimir Putin's rise to power. This is an important factor for the special attention Poland pays to the political emancipation of all its Eastern neighbors: Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.

Bilateral relations


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  • Albania has an embassy in Warsaw.
  • Poland has an embassy in Tirana.
 Azerbaijan1991 See Azerbaijan-Poland relations
 Belarus1992-03-02[4] See Poland–Belarus relations
 Cyprus1960sSee Cyprus–Poland relations
 Czech RepublicSee Poland – Czech Republic relations

Jan Pastwa is the Polish Ambassador to Prague.[11] Jan Šechter is the Czech Ambassador to Warsaw.[12]

 DenmarkSee Denmark–Poland relations

Denmark and Poland have still not agreed on the formal establishment of the maritime border between the two countries. Denmark supports a border halfway between the two countries, but Poland wants to be awarded an even greater share of the Baltic Sea, since Poland has a much longer coastline than the Danish island of Bornholm. The issue has gained significance alongside Russia's plans to build the controversial Nord Stream natural gas pipeline through the disputed area.

 Estonia1991-09See Estonia–Poland relations
 Finland1919-03-08See Foreign relations of Finland
 FranceSee France–Poland relations

Polish-French relations date several centuries, although they became really relevant only with times of French Revolution and reign of Napoleon I. Poles have been allies of Napoleon; large Polish community settled in France in the 19th century, and Poles and French were also allies during the interwar period. The official relations, having cooled down during the Cold War, have improved since the fall of communism. Currently both countries are part of the European Union and NATO.

 Georgia1992-04-28See Georgia–Poland relations
  • Georgia has an embassy in Warsaw.
  • Poland has an embassy in Tbilissi.
 GermanySee German–Polish relations

During the Cold War, communist Poland had good relations with East Germany, but had strained relations with West Germany. After the fall of communism, Poland and the reunited Germany have had a mostly positive but occasionally strained relationship due to some political issues. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Germany has been a proponent of Poland's participation in NATO and the European Union. The Polish-German border is 467 kilometres (290 miles) long.[16]

 GreeceSee Greece–Poland relations
 HungarySee Hungary–Poland relations

Relations between the two states date back from the Middle Ages. For a long time, they enjoy traditional close friendship. Hungary has an embassy in Warsaw, a general consulate in Kraków and 2 honorary consualtes (in Łódź and Poznań). Poland has an embassy in Budapest.

 IcelandJanuary 1946See Iceland–Poland relations
 IrelandSee Foreign relations of the Republic of Ireland
 ItalySee Italy–Poland relations
 Latvia1991-08-30See Latvia–Poland relations
 LithuaniaSee Lithuania–Poland relations

The fall of communism in the years of 1989-1991 led to a formal reestablishment of relations by the Polish and Lithuanian states. Poland was highly supportive of the Lithuanian independence, and became one of the first countries to recognize independent Lithuania.[21] Despite that, there was a relative crisis in the early 1990s,[22] due to Lithuanian mistreatment of Polish minority, and Lithuanian suspicious that Poland would want to put Lithuania under its sphere of influence.[21] After a few years, as the situation normalized, Polish-Lithuanian relations have been steadily improving over the past two decades, with both countries joining the NATO and European Union.

Lithuania has an embassy in Warsaw. Poland has an embassy in Vilnius, a consulate general in Sejny and an honorary consulate in Klaipėda. There are around 250,000 Poles living in Lithuania and around 25,000 ethnic Lithuanians living in Poland. Both countries are full members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Both countries share a common border of 103 kilometres (64 miles).[16]

 Romania1919-02-09See Poland–Romania relations
 RussiaSee Poland–Russia relations

In recent years, relations with Russia have worsened considerably. Poland responded with strong disapproval towards the 2008 Georgian Crisis, in which a military invasion of Georgia was led by Russia. Georgia is a former USSR republic, Poland was a member of the Eastern Bloc, and Poland stated its support for Georgia and condemned Russia's actions. The Polish believed the invasion was carried out by the Russians in an attempt to reestablish and reassert its dominance over its former republics. Since 2009, however, relations with Russia somewhat improved - despite the plane accident where the former Polish president died on what is still considered a controversial event. After the 2014 Crimean crisis the relations deteriorated again, as Poland strongly condemned Russian actions against Ukraine.

 Serbia1919See Poland–Serbia relations
 Slovakia1993See Poland–Slovakia relations
 UkraineSee Poland–Ukraine relations

Both countries share a border of about 529 kilometres (329 miles).[16] Poland's acceptance of the Schengen Agreement created problems with the Ukrainian border traffic. On July 1, 2009 an agreement on local border traffic between the two country's came into effect. This agreement enables Ukrainian citizens living in border regions to cross the Polish frontier according to a liberalized procedure.[27]

The Orange Revolution in Ukraine evoked a wide and authentic support within the Polish society.

 United KingdomSee Poland – United Kingdom relations

During the cold war Poland retained a largely negative view of Britain as a sluggish ally of Poland during World War II, later acceptance of neglecting Poland in the international arena and placing it in communist influences. In communist times the UK was a part of the NATO block, so consequently it was considered by the communists as natural enemy of "communist block". British efforts meanwhile were focussed at trying to break Poland off from the Warsaw Pact and encouraging reforms in the country. In the 1990s and 2000s democratic Poland has maintained close relations with Britain; both in defence matters and within the EU; Britain being one of only a few countries allowing equal rights to Polish workers upon their accession in 2004.[28]

Rest of world

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  • Brazil has an embassy in Warsaw.[30]
  • Poland has an embassy in Brasília,[31] and Consulate Generals in Curitiba and São Paulo.
  • Diplomatic relations between Poland and Brazil date back to 1919, and have gone on uninterrupted ever since.[30] Poland opened a Consulate in Curitiba in 1920.[32]
 Canada1935See Canada–Poland relations
  • Colombia has an embassy in Warsaw.
  • Poland has an embassy in Bogotá.[35]
 IndiaSee India–Poland relations

Historically, relations have generally been close and friendly, characterized by understanding and cooperation on international front.[36]

 IsraelSee Israel–Poland relations

Poland broke off relations with Israel after the Six-Day War of 1967, following most other countries of the Soviet Union controlled Eastern Bloc. Poland was the first Eastern bloc country to recognize Israel again in 1986. Full diplomatic relations have been reestablished in 1990, after the communist People's Republic of Poland was transformed into modern, democratic Poland. Government relations between Poland and Israel are steadily improving, resulting in the mutual visits of presidents and the ministers of foreign affairs.

 North Korea1948 October[40]See Poland–North Korea relations

The Republic of Poland maintains its embassy in Pyongyang, DPRK maintains its embassy in Warsaw, Poland. As of 2009 the Republic of Poland and the DPRK (North Korea) signed 16 bilateral treaties 12 as the People's Republic of Korea and 4 as the Poland.[41]

 South Korea1 November 1989See Poland–South Korea relations

Ahead of the planned performance in the Rzeczpospolita Polska (Republic of Poland) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) Foreign Ministry will hold a workshop on b-boying for local youngsters in Warsaw, Poland on June 11 offering Polish youngsters an opportunity to learn b-boying first-hand and youngsters of the two countries to have special experience of cross-border and cross-language communication through their common interest of dance Foreign relations of South Korea#Europe Foreign relations of the Republic of Korea.[42]

 MalaysiaSee Malaysia–Poland relations

Malaysia has an embassy in Warsaw,[43] and Poland has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur and a consulate in Kuching.[44][45]

 Mexico26 February 1928See Mexico–Poland relations
 New Zealand 1 March 1973 See New Zealand–Poland relations
 United StatesSee Poland–United States relations

A tighter security alliance with the United States was announced in the middle of the Georgian crisis as an agreement between the two countries was reached to allow the US to install and operate an interceptor missile defense shield, a move which Russia sees explicitly targeting it and which it stated made Poland "a legit military target".[50] A high-ranking Russian military official said: "Poland in deploying [the US system] opens itself to a nuclear strike".[51]

See also


  1. "Austrian embassy in Budapest (in German and Polish only)". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  2. "Polish embassy in Vienna (in German and Polish only)". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  3. "Polish embassy in Yerevan (in Armenian and Polish only)". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  4. 1 2 "Embassy of Belarus in Poland"'.' Retrieved 26 March 2009.
  5. "Embassy Belarus in Poland"'.' Retrieved 26 March 2009.
  6. "Embassy of Poland in Belarus"'.' Retrieved 26 March 2009.
  7. Bulgarian embassy in Warsaw Archived May 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. "Polish embassy in Sofia". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  9. "Croatian embassy in Warsaw (in Croatian and Polish only)". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  10. "Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Nicosia". Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
  11. "Poland - Embassy of the Republic of Poland (Praha 1)"'.' Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  12. "POLAND - Embassy of the Czech Republic in POLAND"'.' Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  13. "Estonian embassy in Warsaw". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  14. "Polish embassy in Tallinn". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  15. "Polish embassy in Helsinki (in Finnish and Polish only)". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  16. 1 2 3 4 (Polish) Informacje o Polsce - informacje ogólne. Page gives Polish PWN Encyklopedia as reference.
  17. Embassy of Iceland in Berlin
  18. Embassy of Poland in Reykjavík
  19. "Latvian embassy in Warsaw (in Latvian and Polish only)". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  20. "Polish embassy in Riga". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  21. 1 2 Stephen R. Burant and Voytek Zubek, Eastern Europe's Old Memories and New Realities: Resurrecting the Polish-lithuanian Union, East European Politics and Societies 1993; 7; 370, online
  22. Polish foreign relations with the former Soviet Republics from the mid-1990s perspective
  23. "Polish embassy in Bucharest". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  24. "Romanian embassy in Warsaw". 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  25. Polish embassy in Bratislava
  26. "Slovak embassy in Warsaw (in Polish and Slovakian only)". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  27. Local Border Traffic Agreement With Poland Takes Effect, Ukrainian News Agency (July 1, 2009)
  28. The New Atlanticist: Poland’s Foreign and Security Policy Priorities, pp.80-84, by Kerry Longhurst and Marcin Zaborowski, from The Royal Institute of International Affairs, first published 2007 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd., ISBN 978-1-4051-2646-5 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-4051-2645-8 (paperback).
  29. "Polish embassy in Buenos Aires (in Polish and Spanish only)". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  30. 1 2 "Ambasada Brazylii w Warszawie". 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  31. "Embaixada da República da Polônia". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  32. "Mensagem do Embaixador". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  33. Canadian embassy in Warsaw
  34. "Polish embassy in Ottawa". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  35. "Polish embassy in Bogotá (in Polish and Spanish only)". Retrieved 2013-11-29.
  36. "Indo-Polish relations". Embassy of India in Poland. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
  37. Embassy of India in Poland
  38. Embassy of Poland in India
  39. "CEEOL Yearbook of Polish Foreign Policy (English Edition) , Issue 01 /2006". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  41. "Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  43. "Official Website of Embassy of Malaysia, Warsaw". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  44. "Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Kuala Lumpur". Poland Embassy, Kuala Lumpur. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  45. Raziah Geneid Mahmud. "Malaysia & Poland Ties". Raziah Geneid. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  46. Embassy of Mexico in Warsaw
  47. Embassy of Poland Mexico City
  48. Embassy of New Zealand in Warsaw
  49. Embassy of Poland in Wellington
  50. "Rice to visit Poland to sign missile shield deal". AFP. August 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  51. Bhadrakumar, M.K. (August 18, 2008). "China seeks Caucasian crisis windfall". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  52. Embassy of Poland in Washington, DC
  53. Embassy of the United States in Warsaw

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website

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