The attempt to burden Poles with the responsibility for World War II was not an excess of a fiery Soviet communist party secretary like Khrushchev hitting the UN lectern with his boot. The current Russian leader, unlike his predecessor, is an extremely alert individual, brought up in the KGB school to keep his emotions in check. His speech in St. Petersburg, which has had a wide impact worldwide and is being disseminated and amplified by the Russian media and diplomacy, is therefore a significant act of Kremlin policy aimed at both, the inside and the outside. It should be analysed in this context.
Prime Minister Morawiecki is right that:
In recent weeks, Russia has suffered several major setbacks: the attempt at total subjugation of Belarus has failed; the European Union has once again extended the sanctions imposed for the illegal annexation of the Crimea, and talks in the so-called ‘Normandy format’ have not only failed to bring about the lifting of these sanctions, but at the same time further restrictions - this time from the US - have been imposed, which make the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project significantly more challenging. At the same time, Russian athletes have just been suspended for four years for using doping.
This does not change the principle of Moscow’s policy, which even when reacting to short-term problems always incorporates tactics into strategic goals. Such a goal is to rebuild an empire the collapse of which, namely the dissolution of the USSR, was considered by Putin as the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.
Poland, which has recently achieved significant successes in international politics, stands in the way of its reconstruction. On one hand, this is a closer, also military alliance with the USA, and on the other hand, contrary to the spells repeated by the total opposition and the media, the growth of the subjective role of our country in the EU. The latter process cannot be, of course, conflict-free; such a character could only be possible by „floating in the mainstream”, i.e. resigning from an autonomous international policy and subordinating it to those who determine the mainstream. One can even acknowledge that to some extent these tensions indicate an increase in the importance of our country. If we were not significant, we would not receive so much attention. The fact that we are a blight on Moscow signals the same state of affairs.
The aim of Moscow’s policy is to rob Poland of its credibility and to permanently fix its image as an anti-Semitic country, co-responsible for the Holocaust, which is not true.
Bronislaw Wildstein is a distinguished writer, publicist, and activist of the anti-communist opposition. He has been awarded the highest Polish decoration, the Order of the White Eagle.