German and French rhetoric, which often harped on not humiliating Putin and avoiding escalation, has become more in line with Polish and American sentiment. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock recently acknowledged that “Germany did not listen carefully enough to the right assessment of many partners with regard to Russia.” Whether the country takes concrete action is another question.
“In so many ways, Poland leads the way when it comes to dealing with Russia and when it comes to European security,” said Jim Townsend, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO. “History dies hard. The Poles remember being carved up between Germany and the Soviet Union. They remember the Cold War.”
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