More Europe or a stronger Poland?

In the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the question now becomes what will better guarantee Polish security; closer integration with the EU or a stronger sovereign nation capable of defending itself?

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Michał Karnowski

Liberal-left politicians and the commentators associated with them have been saying “told you so” since the very first days of Russian aggression. They claimed that Poland must side with Germany and Brussels. They, of course, omit their own fundamental mistake concerning the true face of the Putin regime, they let Poles’ vigilance slip for years, authorized Merkel’s pro-Moscow policy and drowned out the warnings of former late President Lech Kaczyński as well as Jarosław Kaczyński.

They also refuse to see the true causes which have led to the massacre of Ukrainian children, civilians and the deaths of many Ukrainian soldiers. The causes were Putin’s imperial ambitions on the one hand, and the funneling of German money into Moscow’s treasury on the other — this same money was used to produce weapons.

Thankfully, the corrupt Russian system ended up stealing much of these funds before they were ever put to use.

We must remember that Berlin, in its cynical dealing with Moscow, had gone so far as to remove Ukraine’s geopolitical importance. This is, after all, the point of Nord Stream 1 and 2.

The true conclusion to be drawn from the war in Ukraine is being muddled in this narrative. Yes, NATO and the EU are structures which guarantee a membership to a more secure world. These are the uncrossable red lines which Joe Biden has been speaking about. As well as the entire territory of the alliance which, as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during his address to the Polish parliament, NATO will defend in accordance with the rule of “one for all; all for one.”

Nevertheless, there is one thing worth pointing out: everything that is a good and efficient response to Putin’s aggression is being shaped in international relations. These rules and guarantees work only when the nation-state is politically strong enough to activate them and efficient enough to ensure the development of support operations for its allies.

If Poland relied solely on Brussels, it would receive German caution, not to even mention German cynicism, along with the addition of the French lack of interest. Even EU sanctions against Russia following the Ukraine invasion had to first be fought for by the Polish prime minister.

NATO even more obviously remains as a structure in which everything is decided between presidents, governments and defense ministers. In the case of the Ukraine war, it is the United States, Great Britain, and Poland which are the ones mainly offering real support — these are the political decisions of these countries’ governing authorities and not the non-national broad will of NATO countries.

We should not let ourselves be tricked into a false conclusion. Our security is guaranteed only by a strong, sovereign Polish state in NATO and the EU — not a fictional federation or as a silent observer to Berlin and Paris’s typical dealings with Moscow.

It would be a tragedy for us to believe that the proper response to Ukraine’s tragedy is meant to be less of the Polish state. The opposite is true: a strong Poland, with its own army — Ukraine also received real aid when it showed its will to fight — with its political independence as a guarantee of our security.

Of course, Poland must remain a part of NATO, the EU and other Western structures, but only in the form of a community of sovereign states.

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