The United States has long been an indispensable Polish ally — a friend in the struggle to overthrow communism and join NATO, a steady partner in times of tension with other European countries, the ultimate guarantor of security against Russia.
But today ties between Warsaw and Washington are seeing new tensions that are unusual, perhaps unprecedented, in 27 years of Poland’s democracy. The reason is that the United States is exerting pressure on Poland to resolve a constitutional crisis considered a threat to the rule of law, something Poland’s nationalistic new leaders reject as an unwelcome violation of their national sovereignty.
Five American Senators, all members of the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, are to meet Polish President Andrzej Duda in Krakow on Saturday. While Duda’s office says the discussions will focus mainly on security, it’s likely the constitutional crisis will also come up given the U.S. concerns over it.