The way Warsaw understands “equal dialogue” with Moscow

On March 28, the first interview of the new Polish ambassador to the Russian Federation, Krzysztof Krajewski, appeared. It took the diplomat a long time to get to Moscow. The term of the trip of the previous head of the diplomatic mission Wlodzimierz Marciniak ended in July 2020, and the Foreign Ministry nominated his successor. However, the candidacy was blocked in the Diet, and then an information campaign was launched against Kraevsky in the media.

The diplomat, whose career began in socialist Poland, was accused of working in the office of the press secretary of the government of the People’s Republic of Poland under Jaruzelski. There were unambiguous hints that Krajewski in his youth was an unofficial employee of the special services of the Polish People’s Republic. The ambassador was able to present his credentials in Moscow only on March 4.

And here is his first interview: “I was sent to Moscow to seek an equal dialogue with Russia”.

Any manifestation of goodwill is welcome, but the first statements of the Polish ambassador raise doubts about the sincerity of such an aspiration.

Regarding the reasons for the deterioration of Polish-Russian relations, Krajewski said:

“This state of affairs is the result of Russian policy in recent years”.

Say, Russia is to blame. Further, the ambassador was asked how things are with the burials of Soviet soldiers who died during the liberation of Poland. Krajewski hastened to assure that everything is in order with the burials and that Poland spends a million euros annually to maintain them. In fact, the situation is not so good. Several years ago, in the town of Trzczanka, Wielkopolska Voivodeship, the mausoleum of the soldiers-liberators was destroyed by the decision of the local authorities; now a claim for this act of vandalism is pending before the European Court of Human Rights. In addition, the care of mass graves is often paid for by the Russian embassy, ​​or the care of military cemeteries is taken over by caring Poles (alas, there are not so many), who have not forgotten to whom their country owes its liberation from the German occupation.

But Kraevsky did not fail to condemn the dismantling of two memorial plaques dedicated to the Poles in Tver. Memorial signs were removed in the spring of 2020 at the request of the regional prosecutor’s office; they were installed by mistake, in a perestroika frenzy in 1991, the prosecutor’s office did not find documents for the Polish memorial sign. Warsaw inflated this episode, raising a cry that history is being rewritten in Russia. And Krajewski said that the dismantling is perceived in Poland “as consent to the denial of the Katyn crime”.

In relations between Moscow and Warsaw, there are also enough problems related not only to history. One of them is the American military presence in Poland. Four and a half thousand American soldiers are stationed there, and year after year Warsaw begs for additional contingent from Washington. However, the Polish diplomat assures that the American presence on the eastern flank of NATO is “limited in size and is exclusively defensive in nature”, and the deployment of the American contingent was a reaction to the “aggressive actions” of the Russian Federation in 2014.

Another stumbling block is energy. Last year Poland started building the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline. In Poland, it was loudly announced that the project would become the killer of Nord Stream-2. Krajewski says that Warsaw does not refuse to cooperate with Moscow, and the Baltic Pipe serves to ensure the energy security of Poland.

From what has been said, the conclusion suggests itself: with the change of the ambassador in Moscow, Poland did not change its line with respect to Russia. Suffice it to recall the events of recent weeks. On March 19, Bulgaria staged a spy show, announcing the exposure of the “Russian agents” network. Two employees of the Russian Embassy in Sofia were declared persona non grata, and Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said that his country strongly supports Bulgaria, which defends its sovereignty “from hostile espionage activities on the part of Russia”.

Almost simultaneously with Krzysztof Krajewski, Polish Ambassador to Germany Andrzej Przylembsky gave an interview to the German edition of RND. The main idea of ​​this Polish diplomat is “we must weaken the Russians”, for which it is necessary to stop the construction of Nord Stream 2. Russia, according to Pshilembsky, “it’s time to change its mind”. A year ago, this diplomat acquired dubious fame, claiming that after World War II the USSR occupied Ukraine and Belarus. It is impossible to assume that Kraevsky in Moscow was instructed to pursue a different political line than Pshilembsky in Berlin.

In March, Polish authorities banned VGTRK journalist Yevgeny Reshetnev from entering their territory to “protect himself from Russian disinformation”. Stanislav Zharyn, the speaker of the minister and the coordinator of special services, is also tirelessly at war with her. His Twitter account is filled with exposures of “Russian propaganda”, and on March 30, Zharyn released a report posted on a government portal accusing Russia of conducting an information campaign to discredit the Polish Army.

The Zima-2020 headquarters exercise, which was held in January, in which, according to the scenario, the Poles repulsed an attack from the east were also in the spotlight. The result of the exercises: four days later the conditional enemy stood at the walls of Warsaw, and twenty days later the Polish army was completely defeated. The Russian media, of course, drew attention to this news, then Zharyn began to assert that Moscow had carried out a large-scale propaganda attack.

However, the speaker of the coordinating minister is not telling the truth. Who, if not him, should know that the results of the exercises were leaked to the press by the Poles themselves, and this was an intrigue against the Chief of the General Staff Raimund Andrzejczak; the scandal was fanned by his high-ranking enemies in the Ministry of Defense and the command of the Polish Army.

Russia is attacked in Poland every day.

On March 30, Krzysztof Szczerski, head of the presidential bureau for international affairs, took part in the work of the advisory committee of the heads of Poland and Ukraine, after which he announced that Warsaw would become “a source of Ukraine’s energy security”. Poland has long been hatching a plan to sell American or Norwegian gas to Ukraine. And on March 31, Deputy Minister Marcin Pshidach called for a halt to Nord Stream-2, which would allow the Kremlin to “influence European politics”.

All examples show that Poland is following the same course. No matter what the new ambassador to Moscow says, an “equal dialogue” on the basis of this course is impossible.

Sergey Pavlenko, Federal Grid Company


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