POLISH FOREIGN POLICY IN THE FACE OF DIVERGENCES IN TRANS-ATLANTIC RELATIONSHIPS, AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF THE CONFLICTS IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA (Polish title - below)
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(Title in Polish - 'Polska polityka zagraniczna wobec rozbieznosci w stosunkach transatlantyckich na tle konfliktów w bylej Jugosławii'). The conflicts in the former Yugoslavia provided a backdrop to numerous controversies between the Americans and their European allies. When, in the first half of the 1990s, divergences emerged, i.a. regarding the recognition of the independence of the former Yugoslavian republics and disparate concepts as to how the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina might be headed off, Polish diplomacy avoided becoming involved in the solving of these problems. However, when a position had to be taken, it supported, as a rule, the policy of the EU member countries (e.g., regarding the recognition of Slovenia and Croatia). In the twilight of the 20th century, it was the conflict in Kosovo which became a source of divergent opinions in the trans-Atlantic community. A clear difference of standpoint emerged between the US and some of the European allies, in particular with a view to the legitimacy of NATO's operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the carrying out of air raids and the possible involvement of the land forces in military operations. Changing its hitherto strategy, the Polish diplomacy first strongly supported the US actions, and, second, actively participated in the international efforts aimed at solving the Kosovo conflict. The Polish government was aware of the emerging divergences in trans-Atlantic relations. Their improvement was highly desirable, but it was not the focal point of attention. Being aware of the limited potential of improvement and of the geo-political situation, efforts were aimed mostly at ensuring the country's long-term security by joining NATO and the EU and it was these objectives which were accorded priority in the Republic of Poland's foreign policy. When facing those divergences in the trans-Atlantic relations which had as their backdrop the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the strategy of Polish diplomacy was also subordinated to these objectives.
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