POLAND



Aleksander Kwasniewski
President

Poland

(pronounced "ah-leck-SAHN-der kvash-nee-EFF-ski")

"Whenever there were attempts to divide Europe, be it for political reasons, or religious or economic reasons, it resulted in wars and conflicts. We have to draw a lesson from that. Europe, by its very nature, because of its common roots, values and common legacy over 1,000 years of history, has to be treated in an integrated way."

The Republic of Poland encompasses an area of 312,685 sq km (120,728 sq mi) that is largely flat plains, with the exception of mountains along the southern border. To the north lies the Baltic Sea. To the east, Poland is bordered by Russia (Kaliningrad), Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine. To the south are Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Germany borders Poland to the west. Poland's population of about 38.6 million in 2002 was predominantly ethnic Polish (97%) and Roman Catholic (95%). A small number of ethnic Germans, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, and Belorussians live in Poland. Poland introduced a new zloty currency to replace the old zloty on 1 January 1995. The per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was approximately US $9,500 in 2002. Poland's natural resources included coal, natural gas, and minerals.

ADDRESS

Office of the President
YU. Wiejska 4/8
00–902 Warszawa
Poland

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