April 13, 2016 –
Translated by J. Arnoldski
“Thanks, goodbye! The stormy romance between Poland Ukraine proves to be short-lived”
The whirlwind romance between Poland and Ukraine has proven to be a short one. A number of Polish experts taught and guided Ukrainians in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovich, but now Kiev prefers to speak directly with Berlin and Brussels. In addition, the premier of a Polish film about the Volyn massacre planned for the fall will only worsen relations with the country in which Bandera is held in high esteem, Polish Newsweek writes.
Ukrainian politicians have stated that relations between Kiev and Warsaw are “already no longer sparking.”
“It’s a pity. After all, there are still groups of people in Poland from whom President Poroshenko himself will take phone calls,” journalist Michal Kacevicz writes in Polish Newsweek. InoTV has since circulated the news.
The whole world saw Polish flags flown on the Maidan during the protests against the reign of Viktor Yanukovich in February, 2014. The author recalls how Polish politicians, including Jaroslaw Kaczynski, visited the country in support of the Ukrainian revolution and assured Ukrainians that they always were and will be Europeans.
“The Poles were with us during the most difficult moments, but then, when the situation improved, they were unable to translate potential sympathy into actual influence in Ukraine,” the Kiev publicist Vitaly Portnikov noted.
After the revolution, Ukraine was packed with foreign specialists called “Vikings.” There even appeared a Georgian squad under the leadership of former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, who took the post of governor of the Odessa region. The Lithuanian Aivaras Abromavicius became Minister of the Economy, and the American of Ukrainian descent, Natalya Yaresko, became the Minister of Finance.
“Lithuanians, Germans, Americans, Canadians, and even Slovaks work in Kiev at different levels of administration as advisors, experts, bureaucrats, or simply as teachers,” the Polish journalist underlines. He notes that there are only a few Poles, but they influence the situation on the highest level as members of the presidential council, including the founding father of Polish economic reforms, Leszek Balcerowicz, the ex-minister of foreign affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski, and the former deputy minister of finances, Marek Dabrowski.
“I won’t hide the fact that Poroshenko and I remain in contact via telephone, but since the elections in Poland neither the foreign ministry nor the President of Poland have appealed to me,” European deputy Pawel Kowal stated.
“This is the problem of the closed form of governance by the Law and Justice party and its lack of openness towards other audiences, as well as [the problem of – RT] Poland’s dying eastern policy,” Kowal said.
Ukrainian politicians of all orientations insistently repeat that Poland is an advocate of Ukraine in Europe and a bridge to the West, but now they are saying this with all the less certainty.
“We hear about strange concepts of the ‘intermarium’ and about people who did so much for Ukraine that are now being ignored. In this situation, we are being faulted of talking mainly with Berlin rather than Warsaw. This is the path to nowhere,” a Ukrainian politician said, wishing to remain anonymous.
In fact, as the article notes, Kiev has reoriented its foreign policy and waged a bet on the strong players, such as Berlin and Washington.
“Poland was important for Ukraine when Kiev’s channels of communication with the countries of the West were closed. It is precisely for this reason that President Kwasniewski played such an important role during the ‘Orange Revolution.’ With the Maidan, things were similar because we were the ones in the West who understood the realities of Ukraine,” stated Grzegorz Makowski, and expert from the Stefan Batory Foundation [a George Soros fund – J.A.].
The change in foreign policy orientations is especially observable in business. In the recent period, there have been many investments in Ukraine by German and Austrian companies while, by all means, there could be significantly more Polish capital.
“Today, when we are a difficult case for the EU and the US, our position in Kiev is weakening,” Makowski shared.
Kiev politicians are still maintaining diplomatic silence in evaluating the events in Poland. Honestly speaking, however, not so much is known about them, as they mainly hear about arguments between Warsaw, Berlin and Brussels. Could the relationship get any worse? This cannot be excluded. Debates on the Second World War are underway in Ukraine and questions of the role of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and Stepan Bandera are returning. The tone is often set by the extremes of society. On this note, as is known, any elevation of the image of Bandera would be unacceptable for Poland, as Kacevicz notes.
Poland in turn is awaiting the premier of Wojciech Smarzowski’s film about the Volyn Massacre (the massive extermination of the ethnic Polish population on the territory of Volyn in 1943 by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army – RT). The author concludes that Poland’s Ukrainian comrades and the Poles who worry for Ukraine are already throwing up their hands and expecting that the movie will lead to an increase in radical rhetoric.