In recent days I have witnessed with sadness the recent disagreements between the president of Ukraine and the government of Poland.
The impressive support that Poland has given to Ukraine
As you know, Poland is a country for which I have great admiration. During the 20th century, the Polish people stood up to the two great totalitarianisms, Nazism and Communism, and preserved their national identity and its Christian roots against all odds.
In the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poland and its government have acted in accordance with the great moral legacy of which they are custodians. Poland was one of the first countries to support Ukraine and has been one of its strongest allies, sending enormous military aid to the Ukrainian people, with numerous tanks and also MiG-29 fighter planes. In addition, many Polish families have welcomed millions of Ukrainian refugees into their own homes, in a gesture of solidarity unprecedented in the history of Europe.
Zelensky's unfortunate and unfair words before the UN
That is why I attended with astonishment the unfortunate words pronounced by Zelensky before the UN General Assembly, speaking about the export of Ukrainian grains (which has created disagreements with Poland, seriously harming its farmers) and stating that "some of our friends in Europe, play out solidarity in a political theater", adding: "but in fact they are helping set the stage to a Moscow actor". A veiled and unfair reference to Poland that has caused logical indignation in that country. Poland does not deserve this. Poland deserves gratitude for everything it has done for Ukraine in the face of the invasion.
I do not know what reasons have led the president of Ukraine to exhibit such an ungrateful attitude towards Poland. Today, in the Polish media wPolityce.pl, given the apparent turn of the Ukrainian president towards Germany (at the UN, Zelensky asked for Germany to have a permanent seat in the Security Council), Jan Piekło, former Polish ambassador to Ukraine, recalled: "Germany showed little willingness to support Ukraine and was counting on an agreement with Russia and that Moscow could still send gas to Germany. It is difficult to explain all this rationally."
Poland reiterated its denunciation of Russian aggression against Ukraine
The day after that speech by Zelensky, the president of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, denounced to the UN the Russian aggression against Ukraine, recalling that "Russia’s continuing neo–colonial aggression against Ukraine is not a bilateral or a regional issue. It concerns us all. If we don’t act in solidarity today to defend the fundamental values of international law, tomorrow may be too late!"
President Duda's words should resonate throughout the world. Also in the conscience of the Ukrainian president, making him reflect on the attitude he has exhibited in relation to Poland. For my part, I hope that the waters return to their channel, that Zelensky rectifies and that both countries do not lose the close ties that they have created in recent months, in which many Polish volunteers have been fighting and dying together with their Ukrainian comrades.
Poland, an essential ally for Ukraine
Poland is today an essential ally for Ukraine, not only on the military level but also on the political level. Poland has been the great supporter of the Ukrainian cause in the European Union when it comes to supporting the sanctions against Russia for the invasion, while Germany was reluctant, due to its important links with Russia. Some links that Germany will not take long to recover as soon as it can.
Let us remember that Poland was the first to warn in 2021 of the threat posed by Russia, a threat that the European Union, controlled de facto by France and Germany, was not taken seriously. Poland's demanding attitude in the EU and its criticism of the lukewarmness of Paris and Berlin was what finally led Europe to adopt the current policy of firmness against Russia. If it were not for pressure from Poland, France and Germany they would have led the EU to turn its back on Ukraine.
The priority must remain the defeat of the Russian invasion
Today, as the invaders continue their attacks against the Ukrainian civilian population, the priority must remain the defeat of Putin and the Russian invasion, above any political differences. Zelensky's attitude in recent days is only beneficial for Russia, by contributing to breaking ties between Ukraine and Poland. The horizon of a free and peaceful Europe, which requires a military defeat of Russia on Ukrainian soil, will only be achieved by maintaining the alliance between Poland and Ukraine.
Personally, I will continue to support the resistance of the Ukrainian people against the Russian invasion and I will continue to denounce the atrocities of the invaders. I am convinced that Poland will continue to contribute to the defeat of Russia, because a large extent depends on that defeat the very security of the Polish people. Poland and Ukraine must maintain their ties, because the future of Europe depends on them. If we let that future pass through Berlin, we will soon repeat the mistakes that the German political class has made during years, some mistakes that have led us to the current dramatic situation.
Photo: Tomasz Bidermann / Shutterstock.
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