After collapse of communism countries of Eastern Europe (EE) were eager to join the structures of the "rich and free" like NATO and European Union. Some of them already joined NATO (Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary) and are waiting for the referenda in their countries which will decide whether they will join European Union. Read more about referendum outcome. Other countries (Bulgaria, Romania) still await their turn.
No wonder that the USA is looking for new allies and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's in his controversial statement characterized Europe as divided into "old Europe" and a newly emerging from Soviet dependence "new Europe".
At NATO meetings on January 29, France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg said they oppose a U.S. proposal for NATO forces to be involved militarily in Iraq. On the contrary several countries of Eastern Europe were among these supporting the USA in its effort to disarm Iraq militarily. Leaders of eight European countries: Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark signed a letter supporting the USA plans. The letter signed by seven prime ministers and one president, was published in several important newspapers on January 30th, 2003.
Another declaration was signed on February 18th. Thirteen countries, among them many European Union's candidate countries (marked with *) endorsed a declaration by existing members warning Iraq that it had one last chance to disarm. Among these countries were: Albania, *Bulgaria, Croatia, *Estonia, *Latvia, *Lithuania, Macedonia, *Romania, *Slovakia and *Slovenia.
Historically, people of Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Baltic Republic etc) have very friendly attitude towards the USA. Read about it in a following article The Attitudes of Poles towards the USA: Why Poles love America?
Maybe an average Eastern European does not support a war with Iraq as eager as his government does. Read the article about Poland, Hungary & Czech Republic versus War in Iraq. It covers the contribution of these three countries to the war. It presents also the polls about the public opinion attitudes etc.
The polls indicate that Americans are still the most liked people in Eastern Europe. "In the poll carried out on 1,231 people by the CBOS polling agency between October 11, and 14, 2002 year - 58 percent of respondents said they liked Americans, while 54 percent liked Italians, and 51 percent liked the French and the British."* Thus, there is an opportunity for the USA to bind strong relationships with these countries.