Reconciliation with ‘Moscow warranty’?

Marian Miszalski

After the plane crash the Russian faction, having been hidden within the Prussian faction, appealing to an urgent ‘reconciliation with Russia’, spoke again. ‘Reconciliation’ is a very individual act, a personal one; whereas when politicians get ‘reconciled’ on behalf of ‘citizens’ it most frequently concerns politics. What is the meaning of this urgency to reconcile? In fact, Poles can go freely to Russia for the last several years and the one that wanted to be sincerely reconciled could do that long ago…What is the political content of this reconciliation?
The politicians of the ruling coalition of Citizen’s Platform and Polish Peasants’ Party remain silent concerning this issue and so do the Russian authorities. One can suspect cautiously that the problem is new Polish-Russian relationships. What is their ‘novelty’? (The last essential changes of the Polish-Russian relationships happened in the early 1990s when Russia withdrew its military units from Poland, leaving a developed secret service, and Poland joined NATO).
Seeking the answer to this question it is worth looking at the political transformations that have occurred in Europe and in the world. During the life of our generation the world stopped being bipolar, with the Iron Curtain in Europe, which divided the free West from the communist East. The world has become multipolar again like it was before World War II. After the unification of Germany the European politics also returned to its pre-war course. Since one can clearly see that the cohesion of the European Union, cemented with the aggressive Soviet imperialism, is breaking now. The crack has been visible since the strategic partnership between Germany ruled by Chancellor Schroeder and Russia ruled by Putin, the partnership that has been constantly developed. One can also see a process of multipolarism behind the façade of the EU institutions: recently Germany has consented that France could have its ‘pocket empire’ in the form of the Mediterranean Union and in exchange for that France let the strategic partners: Germany and Russia intensify their relationships in Central-Eastern Europe. During the presidency of Bush the Americans tried to drive a wedge between Germany and Russia, e.g. encouraging Poland to active ‘Jagiellonian politics’ in the East but after the attack on the World Trade Center they began slowly withdrawing from this idea, leaving Central-Eastern Europe to the activities of the strategic partners: Berlin and Moscow. So trying to investigate the political content of the possible Polish-Russian ‘reconciliation’, we must include this withdrawal of the United States in their active politics in Central-Eastern Europe.
We got ‘reconciled’ with Germany at the beginning of 1990, having its consent to join the European Union under the German ‘patronage’. However, let us reflect on the other aspects of the political content of that reconciliation. Poland’s access to the EU was made without the regulation of the property rights in the western Polish lands (one third of the Polish territory), which was ‘forgotten’ by Krzysztof Skubiszewski, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s government, when he signed the Polish-German treaty. The lack of this regulation has led to the ‘open issue of the properties’ (a joint bill of the two biggest German parties about ‘supporting the rights of the deportees’!).
There are many indications that the permanent resignation of seeking support in America in the future is to be a condition of the political ‘reconciliation’ between Poland and Russia. When the grotesque dummies of Patriot launchers replaced the planned ‘shield’ at Mragowo it is hard to doubt any longer: the Russian politics gained a tactic success in pushing America from Europe and tactics is an element of strategy… At the same time the German politics becomes a rewarding partner of the Russian politics in this respect. Therefore, it is logically to suppose that in the future the political content of the Polish-Russian ‘reconciliation’ can be the Russian warranty of ‘security, good relationships and deepened collaboration in Central-Eastern Europe’ provided that none of the countries located in the buffer zone becomes an ‘American Trojan horse’. One cannot hide the fact that so far Poland has had the biggest chance to play this role and during the presidency of Lech Kaczynski Poland even tried to play it heroically (in Ukraine and Georgia) before the new American government under Barack Obama’s presidency did not withdraw their support unequivocally. Now when we have the post of the EU Minister for Foreign Affairs it will be hard, or if at all possible, to come back to close political relationships between Poland and America even if America changed its stand in the future.
If the Polish-Russian ‘reconciliation’ assumes the form of the Russian warranty of ‘security and collaboration’ the situation will resemble the situation before the partitions when the neighbouring empires: Prussia and Russia, jointly guaranteed the permanence of the political system of the Polish Commonwealth, which was inefficient and corrupt just like the system that gave Poland ‘the round table’, the true Constitution of the Third Polish Republic…

"Niedziela" 25/2010

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: