Expert: Russia sees Poland as an obstacle to its European ambitions

Dr Witold Rodkiewicz from the Centre for Eastern Studies think tank tells PolandIN about the motives that lay behind Vladimir Putin’s attacks on Poland.

Countering Putin’s lies. Why Russian President chooses history to attack Poland

see more

See full interview here

The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chose Christmas time to accuse Poland of being an ally of Hitler before the war and co-responsible with the German Nazis for the Holocaust. At least he didn’t accuse it of being responsible for climate change… President Macron did that.

Dr Rodkiewicz sees Putin’s attack as an attempt to assert the Russian narrative of history. A narrative which Dr Rodkiewicz believes is too exaggerated to gain traction in the west.

Putin’s argument that Munich 1938 was the trigger for the launch of the Second World War is not acceptable to Britain or France who were merely attempting to appease rather than ally with Hitler. His assertion that Munich was no different to the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact is totally false as it was really “collusion by two super-powers (USSR and Germany) to seize another country’s territory (Poland and Blatic states)”. It contributed hugely to allowing the Germans to launch the war as it “assured Germany would not have to fight a war on two fronts (western and eastern)”. Today defending it serves to promote the “Russian vision of international relations in which it is possible to intervene in other countries”.

Poland becomes Russia’s problem

According to Dr Rodkiewicz, Russia has decided that it has not paid enough attention to Poland. Now that US forces are in Poland on a virtually permanent basis and Poland has caused Russia problems in the EU over sanctions, Nord Stream 2 and Ukraine.

But, argues the expert, Putin’s attack on Poland lacks credibility because his narratives on Crimea, Donbas and the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner have been found to be false. As a result, western reaction to his attack on Poland has been surprisingly good for Poland in that Putin’s claims have been rejected. Polish reaction itself has been calm and firm, avoiding unnecessary anger or hyperbole.