If one wants to influence the course of international events, first it is necessary to fight for the subjectivity of one’s country in the international arena and an effective defence of its interests

It was an unexpected commotion in the East for many politicians, and not only in Ukraine, after the retreat of president Janukowycz from an agreement with the European Union, about signing an association treaty. Describing a course of events, also our ‘impartial’ as well as ‘incompetent’ media shared the political Ukrainian scene like in the Western, drawing a black and white picture. The white picture are outraged protesters, maneuvered by presidential promises of Janukowycz about building close relations with the European Union, and our reporters or politicians do not mind the fact that among them we see admirer of Ukrainian Insurgent Army from ‘Swoboda’ of Ołeh Tiahnybok, dreaming about a change of ‘unjust borders of Ukraine’ – with Poland, certainly. Schwarzcharakter is president Janukowycz, who, not considering aspirations, at least of some co-citizens, which characterized also other Ukrainian politicians, definitely prefers Moscow to Brussels.

‘Polish’ winter in Kiev?

This outbreak of revolt of the passive Ukrainians has also other reasons, and the most important is the tragic situation of people in the country destroyed by corruption, arbitrariness of administration and lawlessness, which is reflected as the general poverty and lack of perspectives. Ukrainian politicians of all options did not care about it, but at present the pressure of discontent citizens enforces more radical steps. For the time being the loser is the president Janukowycz who wanted to get the control of the situation by force. ‘For the sake of Ukraine’, certainly. World media and politicians – strangely enough also in Poland – condemned the attempts to solve the conflict by force which caused fatalities.

Why should we be surprised by the reaction of some Polish politicians and media faithful to them? Because here, what comes to our mind, is such a distanced analogy to our history, where similar aspirations of the society were also stifled by force and ‘faithfulness to ideals of Marxism – Leninism, raised to the rank of the raison d’etat, was also a determinant of ‘political realism and patriotism’. Only considering the fact that, in contrast to Janukowycz condemned in Poland today, gen. Jaruzelski has been considered as a saviour of Homeland and a prominent politician. Well, today it is not known that the point of view depends on the point of sitting, but the extreme neglecting attitude of ‘opinion-making groups’ raises astonishment, although it shouldn’t – because even the most absurd but politically useful thesis find many supporters in our country (mostly against their own interests).

Anyway, it is possible to find more analogy of in the Polish and Ukrainian situation. Julia Tymoszenko, released from imprisonment returned to Kiev. The ‘orange revolution’ from a few years ago, done by people aiming at not only the change of the authority but also – or maybe first of all –at reform of the ill political system, raised her to authority. However, Tymoszenko did not intend to change anything but use privileges and benefits which she had received from the system criticized by her in the electoral campaign. In Ukraine all political forces had already been governing, but with equal result – their leaders became very rich people, whereas the so-called ordinary people, that is, citizens, live in the way they had lived before. Hence, there is a cold welcome towards the leader, who used to be loved by people - in Majdan in Kiev – the sign that the Ukrainians learn very quickly and draw conclusions. And they do not trust those who have disappointed them at least once. One can suspect from the perspective of time, that the Ukrainians can draw conclusions from the previous experiences more quickly than us.

Majdan and the Polish issue

The situation from the Polish perspective looks similar like from a few years ago. Like during the ‘orange revolution’, also today in Majdan there are our politicians supporting ‘righteous demands of the Ukrainian nation’. Anyway, at one moment, Poland was the first one to acknowledge independence of Ukraine, which many of our ‘supernumeraries’ understood as a break-through moment in relations between both countries. Only when there were attempts of looking for support of Ukrainian interests in the European Union, the choice of Kiev fell onto Germany not on Poland. Was it black ingratitude? No, rather logics: would the Ukrainian interests in the European Union be effectively defended by a country which cannot defend its own interests in this European Union effectively? Effectiveness of the Polish foreign policy is shown, for example, by Nord Stream, but, on the other hand – the highest prices of gas in Europe which we pay to Russia. Both examples are discouraging enough.

When our media are impressed by the Polish initiative of talks in Kiev with the participation of France and Germany, they also keep silent about the conflict, that is, Russia. And Ukraine is a key for Moscow to return to the superpower position. Russia can hope for the support of Eastern Ukraine, and supplies of the Russian oil and gas have always given an occasion to many people – and from the sphere of politics, and from the sphere of economy – to extra-salary, including them also into the orbit of the Russian influences. So, it is difficult to think that Moscow, having so many assets and experience in pursuing the imperial policy, will free Ukraine (with the base of the Russian navy in Sewastopol).

Whereas Germany after the collapse of the USSR has always aimed at good relations with Russia, at the cost of not only good relations with Kiev, but also with Warsaw. And the Baltic pipeline, economically unprofitable but profitable politically connected them with a knot of ‘lifelong love’. Although American diplomacy has been treating Ukraine with great consideration since the times of Zbigniew Brzeziński, and strong Ukrainian lobby in USA and Canada has always been a spokesman in fully independent Ukraine, leaking information about the speech of Victoria Nuland, concerning whether Witalij Klilczko should be included into the Ukrainian government or not prove the fact that American administration treats Ukraine similarly as it treats Poland, which was shown to us by president Obama in eavesdropped talks with Russian diplomats.

Therefore, we can think that such ‘defenders of democracy’, like the USA or the European Union, will be satisfied by, for example, the return of Tymoszenko to authority, and there will be nothing for us to do than shout in Majdan. One basic conclusion results from it: if one wants to influence the course of international events, first it is necessary to fight for subjectivity of one’s own country in the international arena and effective defence of its interests, among the others, through professional representation in various organs of the European Union. And here elections to the European Parliament are forthcoming and various political parties, concerned about the good of Homeland, present an army of ‘professionals’ of representing our interests in such a difficult area demanding knowledge of the issue, which is the international diplomacy. So, whom are we going to elect? Well, media celebrities, sportsmen, trainers and similar professionals, on which citizens will vote enthusiastically because they appreciate care about the good of Homeland of still the same politicians. Anyway, always with the same result.

The author is a professor of the Papal University of John Paul II in Cracow.


"Niedziela" 9/2014

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