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Sikorski became notorious among Polonia as the major architect and promoter of the "passport trap" policy when he was the deputy minister of foreign affairs (1998-2001) in the Jerzy Buzek government (with Bronislaw Geremek as foreign minister).[1] [2]

As late as 2003, in an email sent from the American Enterprise Institute, Sikorski defended the "passport trap" policy arguing that it was his duty as a government official to enforce the law on Polish citizenship. In 2007, a UPI article about Sikorski stated that he has "since distanced himself from some of the more controversial points" of the "passport trap" policy[3]. However, other than this vague second-hand statement, Sikorski never apologized personally to Polonia for the harassment and harm done by the policy of his authorship, in particular to those Polish-Americans who suffered job loss and career setbacks by losing security clearance as a result of giving in to Poland's demands to obtain a Polish passport.

Following the sale of Sikorski's house in the U.S (7104 Beechwood Dr, Chevy Chase, MD) in 2006, significant inconsistencies can be found in his official property declarations submitted to the Polish Senate in 2006[4] and 2007[5]. The 2006 declaration, dated May 8, 2006, lists the house on the market valued at $1.5M and a mortgage loan of $630K. After the house was sold (Aug 10, 2006) the 2007 declaration, dated Dec 31, 2006, does not show any increase in cash holdings (or other property) that would correspond to the $870K profit from the sale (minus taxes and commission). The most likely explanation is that Sikorski maintains unreported cash reserves and deposited the proceeds from the sale to an undisclosed bank account, neglecting to reconcile the two declarations.

In November 2008, shortly after the presidential election in the United States, Sikorski gained international notoriety for repeating a joke alleging that the grandfather of President-Elect Barack Obama was a cannibal. A spokesman for the Polish foreign ministry claimed that Sikorski did not "tell" the joke but "was only giving an example of the unpalatable and racist 'jokes' that surround President Elect Obama".[6]

In late 2008 and early 2009, Sikorski was named in a number of press articles as a strong candidate for the position of the Secretary General of NATO. While Sikorski never explicitly confirmed his candidacy and was not officially nominated by Poland, he stated at a security conference in Brussels (March 2009) that "NATO should consider an eastern European for the post now that former Soviet bloc states had been in NATO for a decade" [7]. The fact that the only candidate from Eastern Europe who was widely mentioned was himself did not provide a good testament to Sikorski's diplomatic skills.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Wirtualna Polska: Radek Sikorski, Internet Chat Transcript from April 11, 2001; archived and translated here
  2. Rzeczpospolita, Spór o wizy i paszporty, Nov 19, 2003
  3. Atlantic Eye: Radek Sikorski's patriotism, Marc S. Ellenbogen, UPI, Nov. 12, 2007
  4. Oswiadczenie o stanie majatkowym, May 8, 2006
  5. Oswiadczenie o stanie majatkowym, Dec 31, 2006
  6. Poland denies Barack Obama cannibal 'joke', Matthew Day, The Daily Telegraph, November 18, 2008
  7. U.S. backs Danish PM as next NATO chief: diplomats, David Brunnstrom, Reuters, Mar 21, 2009