Robin Barnett » Ambassador to Poland, Warsaw

Russia and Ukraine: stay the course

In recent months, Ukraine has receded from the news headlines in Poland.  This is understandable, as other concerns such as the Eurozone crisis and presidential election have been dominating headlines. But we must not forget Ukraine.  The situation there remains fragile and worrying.  Fighting continues, albeit at a lower level than in the past.  Separatist forces, supported by Russia, continue to destabilise parts of eastern Ukraine. In Crimea, illegally annexed … Read more »Russia and Ukraine: stay the course

A small ceremony to present Professor Limon with the badge of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Feature image for:  A small ceremony to present Professor Limon with the badge of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Last September, Her Majesty The Queen appointed Professor Jerzy Limon to be an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his valuable services to British-Polish cultural relations. On 29 January, I had the pleasure and honour to present Professor Limon with the badge of the Order at a small ceremony. Professor Limon has played an important part in developing cultural relations through his … Read more »A small ceremony to present Professor Limon with the badge of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Cambridge and Warsaw Universities come together to foster innovation

Our Innovation is GREAT campaign is a top priority for both our team and for our Embassy colleagues across the Central Europe region. So I was delighted to attend a press conference  in our Embassy on 20 October, where an innovation partnership between the University of Cambridge and the University of Warsaw was announced by Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and Professor Marcin Palys, Rector of … Read more »Cambridge and Warsaw Universities come together to foster innovation

To Innovate or not to Innovate

It has been a hectic couple of weeks. Since returning from leave, I have already visited Wroclaw, Krakow and Gdansk. There have been two common themes: Innovation is GREAT and Culture is GREAT.   In both Wroclaw and Gdansk, I visited impressive technology parks that are creating the right environment to stimulate the development of both start ups and small businesses and are very focussed in providing added value for their … Read more »To Innovate or not to Innovate

Historic exchange of Polish and British tanks in Bydgoszcz

Guest blog by Sarah Tiffin, Chargé d’Affaires a.i.   In tough times, friends look out for each other.  This has been a constant in the relationship between Poland and the UK.  The brave Polish airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain have passed into legend, as have the heroic actions of the Polish troops alongside British forces at places such as the Falaise Gap, Arnhem and Monte Cassino.  Our … Read more »Historic exchange of Polish and British tanks in Bydgoszcz

UK and Poland: strong collaboration in the past and present times

On 4th July we celebrated some remarkable Polish, French and British individuals and some equally remarkable trilateral collaboration between our three countries. Breaking the Enigma code undoubtedly saved thousands of lives and shortened the war. And the Polish contribution was crucial. The history of how Enigma came to be broken has been shrouded in mystery. Two of my own relatives worked at Bletchley Park during World War Two. But they … Read more »UK and Poland: strong collaboration in the past and present times

PSVI Global Summit in London – Time To Act

In May 2012, British Foreign Secretary William Hague launched the “Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative” or “PSVI” In short, PSVI is about preventing the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon in conflict. In so many conflict situations, it affects not only large numbers of women, but also men and children. However, the perpetrators of such appalling crimes are rarely brought to justice. For example, only around 30 people have … Read more »PSVI Global Summit in London – Time To Act

Poland – 25 amazing years

Even in a year of important anniversaries for Poland, the 25th anniversary of Solidarity’s victory in the elections of 4 June 1989 is a special moment. I arrived in Poland for the first time exactly seven years earlier. I would like to be able to say that I predicted what was to come. But I did not. What I can say is that Solidarity’s win set the stage for the … Read more »Poland – 25 amazing years

World War One – a sacrifice never to be forgotten

Feature image for:  World War One – a sacrifice never to be forgotten

The fourth of August will mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One. The world was a very different place with Poland not even on the map of Europe. A proud independent, free Poland only emerged from the ashes of the war. But that did not mean that the Great War, as it became known, did not impact on what is today Polish soil. Bitter battles were … Read more »World War One – a sacrifice never to be forgotten

European security under new scrutiny

I last commented publicly on the subject of European security at the Institute for Strategic Studies in Krakow in May 2013. A lot has happened since then. The crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea is of course the most significant development. I wrote recently about how Russia’s actions are completely indefensible and what the UK, in lock step with European partners and NATO allies like Poland is doing … Read more »European security under new scrutiny