Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on United States Sanctions Against Poland

August 3, 1984

The President has taken note of the release of political prisoners announced by the Polish Government on July 21. He believes that it represents a significant move in the direction of national reconciliation in Poland. Therefore, in accordance with his step-by-step approach for dealing with the Polish situation, he has decided to take two steps.

First, the President has authorized the lifting of the ban on landing rights for regularly scheduled flights by the Polish state airline, LOT, subject to the regularization of our civil aviation relationship, and the full reestablishment of scientific exchanges between the United States and Poland.

Second, the President has indicated that complete and reasonable implementation of the amnesty decision will create a positive atmosphere that would allow the reactivation of Poland's application for membership in the International Monetary Fund. The United States would, of course, consider any final application on its merits, including Poland's willingness to fulfill the obligations of IMF membership.

The purpose of our sanctions has from the very beginning been to encourage movement away from confrontation toward reconciliation in Poland. While the United States remains concerned with the situation in Poland, we view the Polish Government's amnesty declaration as a potentially positive development.

The United States is prepared to take further positive steps in response to further significant movement toward national reconciliation in Poland. In the meantime, we will be consulting with our NATO allies and others on the situation in Poland and a Western response to it.