Poland risks marginalization as West and Russia debate a way out of the war

It is becoming obvious that a moment is fast approaching where Poland becomes a problem to be neutralized, writes Marek A. Cichocki for daily Rzeczpospolita

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Marek A.Cichocki
Ukrainians react during a minute of silence in commemoration of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the country's war against Russia on Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Babenko)

Kyiv has failed to achieve the objective of breaking Russia’s land corridor to Crimea while Washington is entering an election period with Trump’s ratings on the rise and the Middle East in turmoil. After two years of the conflict in Ukraine, we are entering a period in which there will probably be some temporary negotiated settlement that does not settle either the war or the future fate of Ukraine. 

This will not be an easy time for Poland. It is worth paying some attention to the latest tirades emanating from the Kremlin and from Minsk attacking Poland. Their objective is to present Poland as the chief warmonger and contrast it with the stances taken by countries such as Hungary and Slovakia. 

It’s also worth noting the growing criticism of Poland in the German media where our country is consistently being attacked for its grain embargo, which is supposedly strangling Ukraine’s already ailing economy. 

All this is taking place at a time when Poland is facing a change of government and shows that regardless of who is in power, Warsaw will be facing the same structural challenge: Whenever the West and Russia seek some form of accommodation, Poland becomes a problem that has to be neutralized. 

In the worst-case scenario, we may be returning to the same point we were at in 2015, which saw the Normandy and Minsk formats. Moreover, since Poland is so preoccupied with its domestic issues this may not cause much of a stir. If Poland is isolated and excluded from the talks about the ending of the war in Ukraine, it will mark a very painful strategic defeat with far-reaching consequences. 

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