Warsaw, Poland – US ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski argued that Poland should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its steadfast support to Ukraine and refugees who have fled the country since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
“In Poland, we saw the rapid mobilisation of Poles to help refugees in the face of their mass exodus,” the US envoy told the Polish Press Agency.
“Unfortunately, this will not be the last time we will observe such as influx of refugees. But no one will be able to ignore what the Poles have done, how much they mobilised, how they helped so much, giving each refugee a roof over their heads and food.”
“I certainly think it deserves the Nobel Peace Prize,” M. Brzezinski concluded, praising the “selflessness and greatness of Poles who helped the refugees”.
In May, ambassador Mark Brzezinski had already praised Poland’s leading role in the crisis, and said that this year’s Time’s “Person of the Year” should be given jointly to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and “young Poles organizing aid for Ukrainians”.
More than 6,5 million Ukrainians have crossed the border into Poland since the start of the war in late February, according to UN data, more than half of the total. Many of them have since returned to Ukraine, however, or found refuge in another European country.
The exact number of Ukrainians remaining in Poland is hard to determine. But as of late September, about 1,4 million Ukrainians had registered for temporary protection status.
By far the country most impacted by the influx of refugees from Ukraine, Poland’s rapid and nationwide response to this unprecedented humanitarian crisis has heaped praise across the continent.
From ordinary citizens to NGOs, local authorities to the central government, Poles have provided emergency aid and shelter to millions of Ukrainians, while also taking ambitious measures to facilitate their integration into Polish society. Voices opposing the arrival and integration of Ukrainian refugees have remained marginal.
No individual country has ever won the Nobel Peace Prize. The list of laureates however includes several organisations – such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (1944 and 1963), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (1954 and 1981), UNICEF (1965), ILO (1969), Amnesty International (1977), Médecins Sans Frontières (1999) and the UN World Food Programme (2020).
The EU was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize announcement will take place next week, on October 7, in Norway.
Although the deadline for nominations ran out on January 31, more than three weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, the magnitude of the global crisis unleashed by the war could still lead to some surprise last-minute announcements.