Monday, January 24

US gets Poland to stall anti-media law


Correspondent in Berlin

Updated:

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The White House Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, confirmed yesterday that the presidente Joe Biden has valued as a “good sign” the refusal of the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, to sign the controversial media law that the Polish Parliament had previously voted on. Sullivan made these remarks after meeting on videoconference with Pawel Soloch, head of the Polish National Security Office, and with Duda’s advisor Jakub Kumoch. This media law, which contained an amendment addressed to the television network TNV24, which is part of the American group Discovery and follows an editorial line critical of the Polish government, had also aroused criticism from the Brussels authorities. The spokesperson for the European Commission, Christian Wigand, noted that the law posed “significant risks to media freedom and pluralism in Poland”, also celebrating its paralysis.

The TVN24 network was publicly pleased with the announcement of the veto, stating that the Polish president has chosen “to finally preserve good relations with the United States.”

Last summer, State Department spokesman Ned Price had also warned that Poland, as a NATO partner, is a country obliged to demonstrate and commit to democratic principles, but the nationalist party in the Government Law and Justice (PiS), with an absolute majority since 2015, had set itself the objective of reducing the influence of foreign media in the country and has reacted only after the last pressures. White House sources have confirmed that the United States Trade Delegate in Warsaw, Bix Aliu, had personally asked Duda to veto the rule. “We hope that President Duda will act on his previous statements and use his leadership to protect freedom of expression and business in his country,” Aliu said.

‘I refuse to sign the amendment on radio and television and return it to Parliament for further consideration. This means that I am vetoing it, “explained President Duda, in a televised statement to the nation, about his veto of the new law, which, once approved, would prevent companies outside the European Economic Union from having a majority stake in the Polish media. “The people I have spoken to are concerned about the situation, they have different arguments. They have spoken to me of peace and tranquility … we do not need a new conflict, a new problem. We already have many, “the president justified his decision.

Following the veto of Duda, the former Polish Prime Minister and former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, which heads the opposition Civic Platform party, argued that the veto shows that “applying pressure makes sense.”

Aggression on Ukraine

In parallel to these reactions, the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, assured yesterday to the Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, that Russia will face “serious consequences” in the event of an aggression against Ukraine. In a telephone call made late on December 28 and at the request of the US Administration, according to the Polish Foreign Ministry, “the heads of Polish and US diplomats discussed the current security situation in Europe, including the escalation of actions by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, as well as the hybrid attack by Belarus on the border with Poland. “Secretary Blinken reiterated President Biden’s words about the strong reaction of the United States. And its allies in the event of an aggression against sovereignty and territorial integrity, “the statement insists.

Poland, on the other hand, is about to hold the rotating chairmanship of the OSCE, platform on which the dialogue between Russia and the United States will take place during the next semester.

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