The December 1, 2013 session of Poland’s National Security Council was called by President Bronislaw Komorowski to discuss the situation in Ukraine. Warsaw said it would work out a new strategy defining its policy towards this country under the conditions of «post-Vilnius reality». It would also apply efforts to achieve the goals set by Eastern Partnership…
The Civil Platform Party led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and the opposition Law and Justice Party headed by Jarosław Kaczyński compete in their fervor to express support for the Euromaidan. It strikes the eye that Polish politicians have no strategy to unite them on the issue of Ukraine. The media has already come up with a term for this occasion saying there is a «Poland against Poland political war» going on. It proves that in general terms the West is at crossroads, it urgently needs to work out a definite policy towards Ukraine…
It has got stuck halfway while trying to implement a large-scale geopolitical project aimed at encircling the Eurasian power center (Russia) by unfriendly regimes. The fact that Komorowski speaks about the new reality after Vilnius is actually the recognition of the fact that the West have suffered the first serious defeat while implementing its East European policy. It’s a matter of delicate character and great importance for Poland. Warsaw has always viewed the European integration process (be it NATO or the European Union) expanding further to the East as a success for Polish diplomacy. Now two Eastern Partnership links are missing – Armenia and Ukraine. As far as official rhetoric is concerned, the words about the general economic and political course aimed at European integration are still pronounced, but the West has understood that the Eastern Partnership project is doomed to failure after the Armenia’s decision to join the Customs Union and the refusal of Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union.
According to Donald Tusk, the West should not let the big game for Ukraine’s future end up in tragic defeat. He said Europe did not like the decision taken by Yanukovych. There are other things which are disliked, for instance the radicalization of Euromaidan and the appearance of Jarosław Kaczyński under the red-black flags of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army which stuck to the principle of nationalism while eliminating Poles during WWII. Poland understands that these people are the followers of Bandera and the successors of those who were involved in the massacres of Polish civilian population in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia in 1943 (Volyn tragedy). Poland is afraid of repeating the mistakes of 2004 when Warsaw fervently supported the «orange revolution» to the detriment of its foreign policy goals: the relations with Russia were ultimately deteriorated while the new Ukrainian government started to sing praises to boost the heroic image of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army’ groups – OUN and UPA.
Eccentric Janusz Marian Palikot, the leader of pocket-size political party Palicot’s Movement, lashed out against Jarosalw Kaczyński criticizing him for the support of Euromaidan. He remembered the deeds of those who joined the Bandera’s movement in the days of WWII executing Polish civilians. According to him, the European Union deprives Poland of national identity, legacy and land…Why should the head of the Law and Justice Party bear the Ukrainian brothers- chasteners so much rancor and ill-will?
To the contrary, European member of parliament Janusz Wojciechowski criticized Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski for blasting the speech by Jarosalw Kaczyński delivered at Euromaidan. He called Sikorski a monkey with a razor. Then Andrzej Duda, the Law and Justice Party’s spokesman, said Sikorski was a smatterer in international affairs.
Jacek Protasiewicz (Civic Platform) was standing side by side with Jarosalw Kaczyński in Kiev making an attempt to make the Euromaidan look like an action above the divisions along the political parties’ lines. Seeking sympathy, Kaczyński had to address the street, while Bronislaw Komorowski has other options, for instance to sit down at the round table with Victor Yanukovych and start talks. Sooner or later the Polish President will use this opportunity. Those who are close to him say it is expedient to have contacts with all Ukrainian political forces, including Yanukovych. Poland cannot let the 2015 presidential election be won by a candidate, who will doubt the need for the Polish presence in Ukraine.
Donald Tusk said Poland is in for hard times. It will have to «play a few pianos» in Europe to form a relationship with the Ukrainian government and the opposition at the same time. Until now it has been building contacts with the opposition only. This affirmation is supported by the recent meeting held by Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski with Vitali Klitschko and some Ukrainian pro-Western media outlets.
No details about the announced Polish new Ukraine’s policy have become public as yet. Reasonable voices call for diplomatic support of the protesters while abstaining from brazen political pressure and sending Western politicians to be unexpectedly landed as air-borne troops in Kiev to support the Euromaidan. Moreover the hindrances on the way of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine will backlash in Poland.
Will Warsaw manage to hold a balance walking a narrow tightrope between the interests of the European Union, the United States of America and Poland itself? We’ll see. Until now we can hear from it the European dissonance and the words about the «Poland against Poland political war». We can also see the massive pressure with the use of propaganda and diplomacy exerted on Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych.