15 December, 2011


Interview with Ambassador of Poland in Georgia Urszula Doroszewska

We are pleased to invite our readers to the most exciting and colorful world of ambassadors. Our goal is to enhance and strengthen links between the media and diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia.

We believe, it is a marvelous possibility for foreigners to get a first-hand impression of the representative and share his/her opinions about different issues. The first guest of this column was Mrs. Urszula Doroszewska, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland who herself proves to be a journalist.



G.J: When did you arrive in Georgia?

U. D: I arrived in Georgia on December 1, 2008. This is my first mission. Before that, I worked at the Chancellery of the President Lech Kaczynski as a Director for Foreign Affairs.

G.J: What were your first impressions of Georgia?

U.D: What do you mean? My very first impression of Georgia was shooting at the Tbilisi airport – it was in 1992, just after the civil war.

G.J: Yes, it was the darkest period for Georgia. What can you say about the country today?

U.D: I was writing a lot about Georgia, as I’m a specialist of South Caucasus. I was a journalist too. I was working for the Institute of Eastern Studies. I am a sociologist as well. So my knowledge of the South Caucasus comes from my experience and the experience of other specialists. Since then, I have been to Georgia many times. I accompanied President Kaczynski  6-7 times during his visits to Georgia, before I started my mission. I did not have any false expectations of this country as I was very much involved in its development.

G.J: What can you say about your host country as a person and as a diplomat?

U.D: People are same everywhere, but everyday life in Georgia is good – people on the street and people in the shops are nice. They like Poland and that’s why they like me, as they know me from the television. So, living in Tbilisi is very pleasant as I get very good feelings from Georgians. As a diplomat, I would very much wish to Georgia to be closer to Europe and to NATO because I think it is the best way, and also because I live in the country that is prosperous and safe and I would like Georgia to be as prosperous

and safe as Poland; so I’m working for friendship and cooperation of our countries and I would like to help Georgia to be more close to my country.

G.J: What can you say about Georgian cuisine?

U.D: I like the Georgian food very much. The products here are delicious, especially fruit and vegetables.  I like Georgian dishes. But for me the problem is that Georgian people like to eat at night. I cannot emulate it. It’s a problem for me, because the diplomatic meetings start at eight or nine in the evening and sometimes they end at eleven; it’s too difficult for me.  I prefer to eat big breakfast. I can compare it to the dishes of the European Union countries. Georgian dishes are  much better because the products here are better. My favorite Georgian dish is chicken with garlic.

G.J: What is your favorite sphere of Georgian culture?

U.D: I am fond of Georgian architecture. For me the most important part of Georgian culture is its traditional architecture, Georgian churches and frescos. I think it’s unique. I must say that my country is not as old as Georgia. Poland started its statehood in the 10th century and only in the 10th century we built our first churches. That’s when we were baptized. At that time all churches were made of wood. So, we don’t have such a unique architecture as you have. My favorite churches in Georgia are Jvari in Mtskheta and Anchiskhati in Tbilisi; I think the first is the most beautiful and the second is the best place to pray.

G.J: Can you name your favorite Georgian artist?

U.D: My favorite Georgian artist is singer Nani Bregvadze. Unfortunately, I cannot find her CD. I bought an old black record of her fifteen years ago. Then I bought the record of her concert but it was badly done – perhaps it was a pirate version. I cannot find the same concert on CD.

G.J: What does your everyday schedule look like?

U.D: Every day is different. I cannot say anything about the schedule because I have a lot of work and different events in the embassy and in many different places of Georgia. One thing I can say is that every day I come to work in the morning and go home at 11 in the night, and what I do during these hours is always different. Of course, our main priority is to strengthen the relations between Poland and Georgia. We had a lot of official visits this year. In the end of July we hosted our President Bronislaw Komorowski in Georgia. Two weeks ago our First Lady Anna Komorowska visited Georgia. We opened the Children’s House co-financed by the Republic of Poland jointly with the First Lady of Georgia Mrs. Sandra Roelovs. It was a big event for us as we cooperate with the First Lady; as a result of our cooperation the children’s house was opened. We attract a lot of international aid. We realize a lot of social projects with our Georgian partners. Children’s House is one of our joint projects that we have realized for the last three years. We are in close cooperation with the Georgian Ministry of Social Affairs, the office of Mr. Urushadze. We also work in the field of education of blind people. But our main programs are connected with the Georgian Ministry of Regional Development. We have a lot of visits from Poland and a lot of trainings conducted by Georgian-Polish specialists. We also have a lot of twinning programs between the cities of Poland and Georgia. For instance, Kutaisi and Poznan are twin towns, and recently Borjomi and Zywiec have become twins too; it is a very good and very beautiful cooperation.

G.J: How different are your weekends from our weekdays?

U.D: They are not very different because we have so much work and so many official events.

G.J: What is your favorite pastime in Georgia?

U.D: Whenever I have free time, an hour or half an hour, I prefer to spend it with my husband.

G.J: Now, let’s talk about the Georgian political culture. What are its main drawbacks and how would your recommendations sound?

U.D: Again; it’s to get closer to Europe.

G.J: What is your opinion about the Georgian media? What are its week points?

U.D: My opinion about the Georgian media is not very good. My everyday experience is contacts with the journalists from local TV stations. They come to the official events and ask me to say something, but they are absolutely not prepared. I tell them: ask me the question, and their only question is: tell us about today. I say: today what? The answer is: today’s conference. And it’s in vain. They want me to answer not after but before the event – what is going on? - etc. I think it’s not interesting for the public. I am on television every third days but I don’t know for what purpose. In the end, they ask me my name, my surname and job. I ask them: don’t you know with who you are talking? So why do you ask me, ask other people – because you are an ambassador – but if you know that I am an ambassador why do you ask me what’s my job? The people talking to me are different but the situation is absolutely the same. I don’t understand it. Perhaps, they are not well paid. I was meeting media in Poland and other countries very often, but journalists were asking questions there. I may not like the question and I may have to look for a restrained answer, and I must be prepared for it. But here you can say nothing. My experience with Georgian written press and radio is much better.

G.J: What about the Georgian penitentiary system?

U.D: A very good system started five years ago with the support of Poland to help drug addicted women who have been imprisoned. At that time it was in the competence of the NGO sector and now it’s only conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

G.J: Last but not least, what would you recommend to the Georgian authorities, what is the step that they should take first and foremost in order to set the development of the country in the right direction?

U.D: I don’t want to give a lot of advices, but I would like to see more small and medium enterprises in Georgia.


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