Polish general strives for leadership in NATO
It became known from NATO representatives that the new NATO Chairman of the Military Committee will be elected in the near future. The defense ministers of 30 member countries will elect the chairman by secret ballot. Our investigation is dedicated to one of the contenders for this high post.
The representative of Poland stands out against the background of other candidates.
On July,1 the Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced in a Twitter post that he had recommended General Rajmund Andrzejczak, Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army, as a candidate for the post of Chairman of the Military Committee.
It is currently difficult to say for sure what are the chances for General Andrzejcak to obtain this position. His serious rival is a representative of the Canadian army. Additional uncertainty about the success of this venture is also caused by the sensational journalistic investigation conducted by of one of the German periodicals.
But let’s take everything in order.
Rajmund Andrzejczak was appointed Chief of the General Staff in 2018. At the time he was protege of Mariusz Błaszczak, Polish Minister of Defense.
It was during their command of the Polish army that all weapons acquisition and modernization contracts with European firms, including German ones, were broken, whereas preference was given to American manufacturers. In this regard, we can say with full confidence that if General Andrzejczak is appointed to the post of Chairman of the Military Committee, he will lobby primarily for the interests of the United States and the American military-industrial complex, and not that of German manufacturers.
But this is only one side of the coin.
Last week the German magazine Der Spiegel presented to the European public the results of a journalistic investigation that uncovers complex corruption schemes involving General Andrzejczak.
During the collection of information about the Polish candidate for the chairmanship of the Military Committee, the activities of Unimesko, a company closely associated with the Polish general and his close relatives aroused particular journalistic interest.
As Der Spiegel found out, at the end of 2018 Unimesko owned by the brother of General Andrzejczak signed a contract for the supply of TNT for the state-controlled chemical company Nitro-Chem. Under pressure of the company representatives, some General Staff officers and Andrzejczak personally, the state-owned company was forced to make an advance payment of 4,2 thousand tons of explosives. However, Unimesko delivered only 10 percent of the paid product. The total losses of the state due to the contract amounted to more than two million dollars. Most of this amount safely ended up in the Swiss bank accounts of Andrzejczak and his brother.
Attempts by the prosecutor’s office and the Polish Internal Security Agency to identify the perpetrators of the scam and make up for the damage were unsuccessful. Most of the witnesses and participants in this crime refused to testify, citing fears for personal or family safety. Others simply fled the country.
In addition, the journalists of der Spiegel were able to find out other cases of the general’s involvement in criminal schemes, in which the company Unimesko also played a key role in large illegal arms shipments.
In 2019 alone more than automatic weapons, rocket launchers and ammunition worth of 15 million dollars were delivered to Africa, the Middle East and Ukraine. Most of these weapons were decommissioned or stolen from the warehouses of the Polish army. General Andrzejczak was personally involved in direct organization and management. His brother was responsible for the search for foreign customers and negotiated the terms of transactions.
The stolen weapons were legalized through the Polish company Mesko, which is part of the Polish Arms Group and has been cooperating with the country’s defense ministry for many years. Under the guise of weapons purchased from this company, smuggled weapon was sent to hot spots around the world. It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that supplies to Ukraine were carried out both to pro-government volunteer detachments and to separatists in the Donbass. A number of deliveries were carried out in violation of the UN arms embargo.
The der Spiegel journalists especially noted the extremely loyal attitude of the Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak to the activities of Andrzejczak and the Unimesko company, which may indirectly indicate his involvement in the scams.
It can be asserted that General Andrzejczak, being Chief of the General Staff, launched corrupt activities that have already become a real threat to Poland’s state security. What will happen if the general is appointed to the post of Chairman of NATO Military Committee?
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.