World
Vladislav Gulevich
December 4, 2013
© Photo: Public domain

The leader of the Polish conservative clerical Law and Justice Party, former Prime Minister of Poland Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has arrived for a visit to Kiev. He has come to support those demonstrating in support of eurointegration. The irony of the situation is that in his home country Kaczynski is considered a Eurosceptic, opposed to Poland joining the Eurozone, and a protector of religious and family values. The Law and Justice Party is supported by the Catholic Church and conservative segments of society.  Such views clearly contradict the ideology adopted by modern Europe, where support of sexual minorities has become common practice and efforts are underway to reduce the influence of the church on society to nothing. In some European countries, by the way, this has already been accomplished. According to survey data, one of the most atheistic countries of the EU is the Czech Republic. European theologians are expressing concerns that this country could become one of the first members of the European Union where religious values are completely destroyed. Compared to the Czechs, the Poles are more religious, and when we speak of Europe not as an «anti-Russia», but as an economic and civilizational project for uniting the states of Europe, the antireligious initiatives of Brussels do not meet with understanding in Polish society. It is this segment of the Polish electorate which votes for the Law and Justice Party.

«Kaczynski sees the Ukrainian situation through the prism of geopolitics,» noted former MEP Wojciech Olejniczak, who represents the Democratic Left Alliance in Poland, expressing his doubt that Kaczynski has the right to push Ukrainians into the embrace of the European Union. One may recall that in 2012 Kaczynski opposed holding Euro 2012 in Ukraine due to the neo-Banderovite excesses of Ukrainian politicians, and there have always been plenty of harsh words for Brussels in his political lexicon («they are villains who are robbing Poland»). Now, however, when speaking at Euromaidan, Kaczynski tried to fire up the crowd by urging protesters not to give in and shouting the Banderovite slogan «Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!», which many in Poland found to be outright scandalous… 

Polish philosopher and legal scholar Wojciech Sadurski has ironically described J. Kaczynski as «a Eurosceptic in Warsaw and a Euroenthusiast in Kiev» and called his phrase «Ukraine needs Europe and Europe needs Ukraine» a half-truth (as Polish patriot Sadurski is convinced that the Ukrainians need the European Union, but the European Union has no use for the Ukrainians).

Well-known Polish writer and journalist Piotr Zaremba expressed himself even more frankly, revealing the reasons for the regular visits of Polish politicians to Kiev: «Why should we support the Ukrainians on the Maidan? Because it is against Russia, and because with Ukraine the European Union will never turn into a superpower». This is well understood by Germany and France, the leading countries of the EU. According to publicist Emil Zin, «while Germany and France are setting the agenda in the EU, such countries as Turkey and Ukraine have no chance of becoming EU members. Germany and France are wary of Islamization… and threats to the labor markets (an influx of cheap labor). Furthermore, France and especially Germany are afraid that accepting Ukraine into the EU under pressure from the U.S. and its best ally, which is called the Trojan horse of the U.S. in Europe [Poland. – V.G.], will lead to immersion in an even greater crisis.  The 'Trojan horse's' outrageous support for Ukraine's desire to join the EU will lead to the destabilization of the region, which is advantageous for the geopolitical projects of the U.S.» [emphasis mine. – V.G.]

Inasmuch as the European economy competes with America's, and in the European Union itself voices are being heard more and more frequently calling for the independence of united Europe from Washington in its foreign policy, the weakening of the EU as an alternative pole of power is to a certain degree in the interests of the United States. Kaczynski's Law and Justice Party, in demonstrating its Euroscepticism, has always been considered pro-American, and J. Kaczynski's late brother Lech was bluntly referred to as «Washington's man».

Poland also needs a Ukraine tied to the European Union as a buffer between in and Russia. Even if this undermines the EU from within, Warsaw can always make its usual maneuver and change its focus from Brussels to Washington. At the same time, on the Europe-wide level, Brussels has absolutely no need of Ukraine as a full member of the EU; it needs a Ukraine which has rejected Eurasian integration projects and is prepared to wait indefinitely to receive a ticket into the EU. 

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has stated his intention to convene the National Security Council in the near future to discuss the situation in Ukraine, and expressed his hope that Jaroslaw Kaczynski would participate. Having noted the relevance of the issue of Ukraine's accession to the EU for Poland, Komorowski emphasized the need to decide in advance whether Poland is capable of supporting Ukraine, which is in a difficult economic situation. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski rhetorically asked Kaczynski how many billions in Polish money the Law and Justice Party wants to «pump into Ukraine's disintegrating economy». The Polish media have reported that Warsaw is now developing a strategy with regard to Ukraine, but the details of this work have not been made public. 

While the Ukrainian ambassador to Poland was apologizing for the beating of Polish citizens, who had come to support the demonstrators in support of eurointegration, by Berkut personnel on Kiev's Independence Square, several Polish public figures advanced the slogan «We won't let Ukraine into the European Union!» The Poles are concerned that Kiev will treat Poland the same way as it did after the «orange revolution», when instead of showing gratitude for Poland's assistance in mounting the coup d'etat, the new Ukrainian authorities added new momentum to anti-Polish neo-Banderovite campaigns. Supporters of this slogan point out that it is in Poland's interests to have a weak Ukraine as a neighbor and try to preserve the status quo in which Kiev gets no closer to the EU or the Customs Union.  Let us note here that Ukraine will only be able to receive broad support from Poles on its path to eurointegration when the cult of the OUN-UPA is declared criminal both by the Ukrainian government and by Western Ukrainian society.  And it looks like that is a long way away.

In any case, there is no unanimity on the issue of Ukraine's closer relations with the EU in Polish society. There is none in government agencies either, as the interests and contradictions of the opposition, of which the Law and Justice Party forms the core, and the ruling Civic Platform Party have become tangled into a tight knot. Along with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, MEP and Civic Platform member Jacek Protasiewicz has also gone to Kiev, stating that Poland will always be holding the doors to the European Union open for Ukraine. It is important for the Polish authorities to seize the initiative from the opposition and not let it use Euromaidan to its own ends.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
Outrageous Polish Excesses in Kiev

The leader of the Polish conservative clerical Law and Justice Party, former Prime Minister of Poland Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has arrived for a visit to Kiev. He has come to support those demonstrating in support of eurointegration. The irony of the situation is that in his home country Kaczynski is considered a Eurosceptic, opposed to Poland joining the Eurozone, and a protector of religious and family values. The Law and Justice Party is supported by the Catholic Church and conservative segments of society.  Such views clearly contradict the ideology adopted by modern Europe, where support of sexual minorities has become common practice and efforts are underway to reduce the influence of the church on society to nothing. In some European countries, by the way, this has already been accomplished. According to survey data, one of the most atheistic countries of the EU is the Czech Republic. European theologians are expressing concerns that this country could become one of the first members of the European Union where religious values are completely destroyed. Compared to the Czechs, the Poles are more religious, and when we speak of Europe not as an «anti-Russia», but as an economic and civilizational project for uniting the states of Europe, the antireligious initiatives of Brussels do not meet with understanding in Polish society. It is this segment of the Polish electorate which votes for the Law and Justice Party.

«Kaczynski sees the Ukrainian situation through the prism of geopolitics,» noted former MEP Wojciech Olejniczak, who represents the Democratic Left Alliance in Poland, expressing his doubt that Kaczynski has the right to push Ukrainians into the embrace of the European Union. One may recall that in 2012 Kaczynski opposed holding Euro 2012 in Ukraine due to the neo-Banderovite excesses of Ukrainian politicians, and there have always been plenty of harsh words for Brussels in his political lexicon («they are villains who are robbing Poland»). Now, however, when speaking at Euromaidan, Kaczynski tried to fire up the crowd by urging protesters not to give in and shouting the Banderovite slogan «Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!», which many in Poland found to be outright scandalous… 

Polish philosopher and legal scholar Wojciech Sadurski has ironically described J. Kaczynski as «a Eurosceptic in Warsaw and a Euroenthusiast in Kiev» and called his phrase «Ukraine needs Europe and Europe needs Ukraine» a half-truth (as Polish patriot Sadurski is convinced that the Ukrainians need the European Union, but the European Union has no use for the Ukrainians).

Well-known Polish writer and journalist Piotr Zaremba expressed himself even more frankly, revealing the reasons for the regular visits of Polish politicians to Kiev: «Why should we support the Ukrainians on the Maidan? Because it is against Russia, and because with Ukraine the European Union will never turn into a superpower». This is well understood by Germany and France, the leading countries of the EU. According to publicist Emil Zin, «while Germany and France are setting the agenda in the EU, such countries as Turkey and Ukraine have no chance of becoming EU members. Germany and France are wary of Islamization… and threats to the labor markets (an influx of cheap labor). Furthermore, France and especially Germany are afraid that accepting Ukraine into the EU under pressure from the U.S. and its best ally, which is called the Trojan horse of the U.S. in Europe [Poland. – V.G.], will lead to immersion in an even greater crisis.  The 'Trojan horse's' outrageous support for Ukraine's desire to join the EU will lead to the destabilization of the region, which is advantageous for the geopolitical projects of the U.S.» [emphasis mine. – V.G.]

Inasmuch as the European economy competes with America's, and in the European Union itself voices are being heard more and more frequently calling for the independence of united Europe from Washington in its foreign policy, the weakening of the EU as an alternative pole of power is to a certain degree in the interests of the United States. Kaczynski's Law and Justice Party, in demonstrating its Euroscepticism, has always been considered pro-American, and J. Kaczynski's late brother Lech was bluntly referred to as «Washington's man».

Poland also needs a Ukraine tied to the European Union as a buffer between in and Russia. Even if this undermines the EU from within, Warsaw can always make its usual maneuver and change its focus from Brussels to Washington. At the same time, on the Europe-wide level, Brussels has absolutely no need of Ukraine as a full member of the EU; it needs a Ukraine which has rejected Eurasian integration projects and is prepared to wait indefinitely to receive a ticket into the EU. 

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has stated his intention to convene the National Security Council in the near future to discuss the situation in Ukraine, and expressed his hope that Jaroslaw Kaczynski would participate. Having noted the relevance of the issue of Ukraine's accession to the EU for Poland, Komorowski emphasized the need to decide in advance whether Poland is capable of supporting Ukraine, which is in a difficult economic situation. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski rhetorically asked Kaczynski how many billions in Polish money the Law and Justice Party wants to «pump into Ukraine's disintegrating economy». The Polish media have reported that Warsaw is now developing a strategy with regard to Ukraine, but the details of this work have not been made public. 

While the Ukrainian ambassador to Poland was apologizing for the beating of Polish citizens, who had come to support the demonstrators in support of eurointegration, by Berkut personnel on Kiev's Independence Square, several Polish public figures advanced the slogan «We won't let Ukraine into the European Union!» The Poles are concerned that Kiev will treat Poland the same way as it did after the «orange revolution», when instead of showing gratitude for Poland's assistance in mounting the coup d'etat, the new Ukrainian authorities added new momentum to anti-Polish neo-Banderovite campaigns. Supporters of this slogan point out that it is in Poland's interests to have a weak Ukraine as a neighbor and try to preserve the status quo in which Kiev gets no closer to the EU or the Customs Union.  Let us note here that Ukraine will only be able to receive broad support from Poles on its path to eurointegration when the cult of the OUN-UPA is declared criminal both by the Ukrainian government and by Western Ukrainian society.  And it looks like that is a long way away.

In any case, there is no unanimity on the issue of Ukraine's closer relations with the EU in Polish society. There is none in government agencies either, as the interests and contradictions of the opposition, of which the Law and Justice Party forms the core, and the ruling Civic Platform Party have become tangled into a tight knot. Along with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, MEP and Civic Platform member Jacek Protasiewicz has also gone to Kiev, stating that Poland will always be holding the doors to the European Union open for Ukraine. It is important for the Polish authorities to seize the initiative from the opposition and not let it use Euromaidan to its own ends.