May 28 - U.S. President Obama defends his ''reset'' of relations with Russia in Warsaw, a policy that has unnerved some in Poland. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at Prime Minster Donald Tusk's residence on the final day of his two day trip to Poland. There is the traditional handshake. As Obama prepares to sign the guest book, the pen fails. Obama supplies his own. As Obama wraps up his trip to Poland, he also defended the US posture towards Moscow at a time when some in Poland are wary of Moscow's resurgence and its efforts to roll back Western influence in former Soviet states. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama saying (English): "We discussed our respective relationships with Russia and I'm a strong believer that the reset between the United States and Russia has benefited this region as well as the United States and Russia because it's reduced tensions and I think has facilitated genuine dialogue about how each country can move forward. We very much appreciate Poland's pragmatic approach to their relationship with Russia, I applaud the Prime Minister for his determination to continue these efforts, even if it not always the most politically popular thing to do." Obama also said Poland could serve as an example for nations struggling with democracy. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama saying (English): "Poland is one of our strongest and closest allies in the world and as a leader in Europe. And I believe that Poland's story demonstrates how a proud and determined and enthusiastic people can overcome extraordinary challenges and build a democracy that represents the great strength and character of this nation, while now serving as an example for Europe and the world." Obama also proposed easing visa requirements for Polish citizens traveling to the United States, which could improve Polish perceptions of the United States and help Tusk's center right government before October elections. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters