Poland’s interests amid the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict are similar to Ukraine’s but not directly aligned, a Polish political studies expert has claimed.
Bartłomiej Radziejewski, head of the Nowa Konfederacja (New Confederation) conservative think tank, has called for Poland to avoid directly involving itself in the conflict, and suggested several ways in which the country may be able to gain from the current political landscape.
Radziejewski described the symbolic visit of Central European leaders to Kyiv last week as an impressive and brave act which was of considerable importance to Ukrainians. However, he questioned the proposal put forward by Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński to send a NATO peacekeeping mission to Ukraine, pointing out that NATO does not carry out peacekeeping operations, except for the “infamous operation in former Yugoslavia,” and explained that such a task would be for the United Nations, not for NATO.
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The Polish conservative described such a move as “potentially dangerous” and insisted that Poland should not act too rashly on this matter, as the involvement of NATO troops inside Ukraine would contribute to a far quicker escalation on the ground.
“In my opinion, such escalation does not lie in Poland’s interest,” Radziejewski claimed. “But it is in Ukraine interest. It is one of the places where Ukraine and Poland are not on the same page.
“We need to keep the thousands of Russian nuclear warheads, ballistic missiles in mind. Poland would be the first target of those weapons, as we are a major logistics hub in the region,” he added.
Additionally, Radziejewski identified four areas where, in his opinion, Poland should be looking to gain from the current geopolitical landscape.
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First, he argued Poland needs refocus its attentions to more serious state affairs rather than fixate itself over trivial problems it has focused on in the past. Secondly, the country has an opportunity to fix its demographic problems with the help of an influx of Ukrainian refugees.
Thirdly, Poland has an opportunity to use its position — which has made the country a key NATO ally — to gain more strategic independence and bring greater security to its eastern borders.
And lastly, Radziejewski believed the current situation could allow for Poland to invite greater foreign investment and bring innovative technologies to the country, which would aid the Polish economy.