“We want friendly relations with Russia,” said not a comic smiling at Poland’s aggressive anti-Russian policy but Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki - the man who earlier said that Russia was the most serious threat to Poland, the prime minister of a country that recently deported four Russian diplomats and detained a “Russian spy.” So, we guess only aliens – and only those who have visited our planet for the first time – will believe the Poles’ tale about their friendly attitude towards Russia.
Morawiecki’s first 100 days in power have brought no improvement in Poland’s policy on Russia. For the ruling national conservative Law and Justice party, Russophobia is a national priority.
In his recent report on Poland’s foreign political priorities, newly appointed Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz mentioned Russia just once as he dwelled basically on the Polish-U.S. partnership and Poland’s leadership in Europe.
This is what Czaputowicz said about Russia: "Russia’s aggressive policy towards the West cannot be ignored. Russia is seeking a revision of the political order in Europe which was established after 1989 [when communism collapsed in Poland] and which brought Poland the restoration of independence. The instruments of achieving this [Russian] goal are the destabilization of numerous regions ... [which] neighbor Poland, efforts to increase political divisions within individual states, as well as between them, breaking up transatlantic unity, and deepening divisions within the European Union.”
Czaputowicz was speaking in the Sejm and none of the Polish oppositionists objected to his Cabinet’s anti-Russian stance.
But there is nothing strange in this stance: in mid Feb 2018, Morawiecki said in Berlin that Russia was a source of hybrid aggression, while the United States, Poland and the other EU members were victims to that aggression.
When the British authorities were making a scandal of the Skripal case, Czaputowicz rushed to London so as not to miss the chance to once again blame Putin. During his joint press conference with British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, he said that it was Putin’s order to poison Skripal and expressed full support for the UK’s tough stance. The Polish authorities were so up in arms that it seemed that they were ready to punish Russia all alone had the EU’s reaction been not tough enough.
And they were among the first to counterattack: almost immediately they decided to deport four Russian diplomats from their country so as to be in the vanguard of the anti-Russian diplomatic war, along with Germany, France and Canada, who had also deported four Russian diplomats each.
The Poles have been regularly detecting Russian spies of late. It seems that they are around every corner in Poland. This time too, the Polish Internal Security Agency detained an official of Russia’s Energy Ministry on suspicion of espionage.
This step was logical in form but very unconvincing in essence: they said that the suspect had contacts with Russia’s special services and supplied them with data concerning some significant investments.
More specifically, the “spy” allegedly informed the Russian special services about Poland’s plans concerning the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. We wonder what value that information had if in each Polish newspaper, you can find an article about Poland’s plans to torpedo that project?
The general euphoria drowned the voice of Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreyev, who said that there was no single proof of Russia’s complicity in the Skripal case and that the only ground for the UK’s allies, including Poland, to support its stance was their misconception of political correctness and solidarity.
And one more proof of Poland’s wish to be “friends” with Russia was its contract to buy Patriot missile defense systems from the United States. The first systems will reach Poland in 2022, the rest after 2024.
The Poles will pay for them as much as $4.750bn but they don’t care as their priority is their security and their partnership with the United States. “It is an extraordinary, historic moment; it is Poland’s introduction into a whole new world of state-of-the-art technology, modern weaponry, and defensive means,” President Andrzej Duda said during the signing ceremony.
And what about Poland’s “friendly relations” with Russia? Perhaps, as one poet said, “love must have fists”?
Alexander Shtorm (Warsaw), specially for EADaily