Will Poland Try to Absorb Parts of Ukraine?

According to Andrey Bystritsky, head of the Valdai Discussion Club Development and support foundation council, Poland’s political class will continue pushing for further escalation in Ukraine. Moreover, Bystritsky told Russian-state media outlet TASS that Poland will try to facilitate the partition of Ukraine. 

He believes that Poland is aspiring to be the leader of Eastern Europe by positioning itself as one of the most hawkish countries against Russia.

The Russian expert called attention to a statement from former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski — one of the most vocal anti-Russia voices — where he stated that Poland’s Law & Justice party was floating the idea of partitioning Ukraine in the early days of Russia’s military incursion in Ukraine. 

“Poland is most interested in establishing and strengthening its leadership in Eastern Europe. Obviously, they are thinking about options where Ukraine, Belarus, and Baltic countries are to some extent in the area [of Poland’s control] – the Polish leadership is preoccupied with all this,” Bystritsky added.

“Among the various possibilities for strengthening Polish leadership in this region and creating a special zone that would stretch from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea, there are scenarios where Ukraine will not be integral. This does not mean that this is the only option. But they are thinking about different options,” the analyst continued.

Per the expert, Poland’s desire to be the leader of Eastern Europe explains its belligerent rhetoric and why it’s constantly pouring in weapons to Ukraine.

“Their most important goal is leadership [in Eastern Europe], what other goals would be required for this is a secondary issue for them. So, first of all, they are trying to play the role of this driving force and being to some extent a “substitute” for the United States,” the expert stated. 

Bystritsky emphasized how Poland has taken the initiative on the delivery of weapons to Ukraine. “They have already achieved a lot. Therefore, they will continue to apply pressure,” Bystritsky noted.

“The West, of course, is far from one hundred percent unity, but few dare to talk about this openly. <…>. At the moment, Poland is actively engaged in escalation. There is no doubt about it. And in this respect, it is quite effective. It is pressing with all its might, but it is difficult to say whether it will be strategically effective,” the expert said in a concluding remark.

Poland’s hostility towards Russia is natural due to the fraught history Poland has had dealing with Russia during its imperial phase and under the Soviet Union’s thumb. However, this hostility, however legitimate it may be, should not obligate the US to intervene in Poland or on NATO’s behalf.

The US needs to extricate itself from this entangling alliance and start focusing more on its internal affairs.

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