Merkel’s talks with Lukashenko were a heavy blow for Poland and the Baltics

The Baltic States are in shock: Germany has “forgotten” about Poland and Lithuania in its relations with Lukashenko

Merkel's talks with Lukashenko were a heavy blow for Poland and the Baltics
The main political event of the last week in Europe – telephone talks of acting German chancellor Angela Merkel with president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko – became a heavy blow to the international positions of Poland and the Baltic states

Eastern Europe has long resigned itself to the fact that the US and major EU countries are negotiating with Russia in circumvention of their allies, but now Berlin has neglected them in relations with a country that Poland and Lithuania consider a historical object of their civilising influence.

“If we are talking about any agreements that should be binding for Poland and the Polish authorities, or those that the Polish authorities should comply in one way or another, these will be agreements reached exclusively by us, in those formats in which we are directly involved, in which Poland is represented at the appropriate level”, –  Polish President Andrzej Duda commented on Angela Merkel’s negotiations with Alexander Lukashenko on resolving the migration crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border.

The words of the Polish leader are filled with considerable irritation.

Poland finds itself in the position of Ukraine being discussed without Ukraine and Andrzej Duda might well cry out following Zielenski: no negotiations on Poland without Poland!

What is even more humiliating is that Germany is negotiating the situation on the Polish border not even with Putin, but with Lukashenko. In fact, from the very beginning Angela Merkel had intended to negotiate about regulation of the crisis exactly with Putin. By the way, it’s another situation: Germans negotiate with Russians on the Polish border…

However the Russian leader saved Poles from painful historical analogies and told Merkel that if problematic situation emerged on the Belarusian-Polish boarder, it must be solved in contact with the leadership of Belarus and Poland. Russia has nothing to do with it.

Germany is in constant contact with the leadership of Poland. If one were to talk to the official Minsk, it would be beautiful and politically correct to organize not a dialogue, but at least a dialogue with the participation of Poland. Better even a polylogue – with the participation of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, i.e. all the EU allies that have been affected by the migration crisis.

However, Angela Merkel in the crisis situation traditionally gave up on political correctness and rushed to settle the crisis, without even making the allies aware of the plans to have a talk with Lukashenko.

It is not that Frau Chancellorine is not yet interested in the thoughts and feelings of the East European countries members of the EU and NATO. On the contrary: Angela Merkel is the opposite of the American style – she does not care about her allies. Merkel’s style is to smooth over the edges and keep the peace in the “European family” by all means possible.

In the case of Poland and the Baltics, however, being true to one’s style is often not possible. If now, for example, Merkel decided to observe politeness, what would come out of it? Poland and Lithuania would first of all refuse to talk to Lukashenko, then they would “leak” to the press the information that Merkel wants to have a phone conversation with “the last dictator of Europe”, then would create a scandal, and finally would agree to join the conversation with Lukashenko, but on condition that Latushko and Tihanovskaya would also participate in it.

In another situation, Berlin would have listened to its eastern allies, but on the verge of a military conflict on the very border between NATO and the CSTO, “mama” Merkel is not in a position to babysit them.

Since Poland and the Baltics can generate nothing but destructive things in the post-Soviet space, the major Western countries only use their services when destructive things are demanded of them, but in crisis situations the Baltics are gently pushed aside and solve the problem on their own.

This has always been the case with Russia, and Eastern Europe has already come to terms with the fact that the US, German and French leaders are talking to Putin over their heads, without asking their allies what they think about the dialogue with the Kremlin. But talking to Lukashenko over the heads of the eastern European members of NATO is a particular humiliation.

The Republic of Belarus is considered by its western neighbours as a God-given field for missionary work. For decades, Poland and Lithuania (and to a lesser extent Latvia) nurtured a “new elite” in Belarus, i.e. supported the Belarusian opposition, shaped the public opinion in Belarus, and prepared “democratic revolutions” there. They used to call themselves the main in Europe in respect of Belarus, and it is almost impossible for the latter to reconcile themselves to the fact that Poles and Baltic States with their ambitions are being pushed aside for the sake of negotiations with Lukashenko.

Andrzej Duda, for example, sought explanations about Angela Merkel’s phone call to Lukashenko not from her, but from Frank Walter Steinmeier, the German president, who has no authority at all.

Merkel did not explain herself to the Polish president. At the end of her political career, one can afford the luxury of showing her allies what’s on your mind.

Alexander Nosovich,


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