Poland should come before Germany when it comes to rebuilding Ukraine

Jakub Maciejewski, the war correspondent in the Donbas for portal wPolityce.pl, writes that the scale of the destruction of Ukraine is such that Poland, if it is to be a key player in the post-war process, must have a strategy in place to handle the reconstruction process

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Jakub Maciejewski
Irina Zubchenko walks with her dog Max amid the destruction caused after shelling of a shopping center, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 21, 2022. T(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

The scale of destruction of many places in Ukraine brings to mind the destruction of Warsaw by the Germans in 1944, and yet Warsaw was rebuilt, as was the whole of Poland after the war, and herein lies the key to what Poland can bring to the table for Ukraine.

Polish engagement in rebuilding Ukrainian industry is part of the Polish raison d’etre. This is because Poland must position itself at the center of the international effort of restoring the economy of its eastern neighbor.

This is also the key to Poland and Ukraine forging an alliance, and Poland being one step ahead of Brussels, which is dragging its feet on providing financial assistance to Poland over the influx of Ukrainian refugees.

There is also the political aspect of Poland and Ukraine getting closer together on a personal and institutional level, and that reality being translated into economic benefits for both. The ties forged during the last two months should ensure that Poland has a head start in getting contracts for the rebuilding efforts. 

There is also a need to stop Germany getting itself back into the center of things in Ukraine, as a country that has staked so much on its trade with Russia should not be the major beneficiary of the rebuilding efforts.

Poland should have Washington and London on its side here, but it must show its own commitment first. It is not in Poland’s interest for Germany to rebuild its influence in Ukraine. Poland must not rest on its laurels for having passed the test of being Ukraine’s best ally, it must now think of both Poland’s and Ukraine’s future before Berlin does. 

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