Some Polish opposition politicians are siding with Germany and rejecting a ban on visas for Russians

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
4 Min Read

Russians murder Ukrainians, hold the West responsible for the war, and simultaneously enjoy their vacations in EU countries, said Polish Professor Żurawski vel Grajewski in an interview for the TVP Info public news television channel.

The influential professor pointed out that if Germans are against banning visas for Russians, they Poland should ban them on their own.

The professor was also not surprised that some left-wing Civic Platform (PO) politicians agree with the German chancellor on the matter. According to him, certain Polish politicians are seeking to receive prestigious positions in Brussels and are ready to do a lot to get them.

A temporary ban on issuing EU tourist visas to Russians is supported by some EU countries, such as Finland, Poland, Latvia, Denmark, Czechia, and Lithuania.

In Żurawski vel Grajewski’s opinion, it is worth pushing to force Germans to publicly respond on the visa issue and make them pay the price of their current stance.

“If they oppose this now, it will also come at a cost. Pressure is being put on Berlin,” said the lecturer at Łódź University.

He pointed out that it is especially important in the context of Olaf Scholz’s declaration that Germany is ready to take responsibility for the future of Europe and is moving away from the principle of unanimity in the areas of external politics and EU security.

According to Żurawski vel Grajewski, Germany wants to shift decision-making to the most populous countries, which have the most voting weight in the European Council. He pointed out that Poles, Balts and Scandinavians warned about Russia and dependence on Russian gas. These countries, considered “smaller” countries in terms of power in the EU, were proven right.

“Now we are also right, and it is worth saying,” he said.

“We should show that even if those are powerful and influential countries, they cannot get much done without our consent. Regarding visas, even if there will be no EU decision, it is worth using the policy of a fait accompli by refusing to issue those visas in our own countries,” stated Żurawski vel Grajewski, adding that if Poland and a couple other countries begin to apply this practice, it will most likely catch on.

Radosław Sikorski, who was minister of foreign affairs in Donald Tusk’s previous government, has taken the same stance as the Germans, firmly criticizing blocking visas for Russians and applying “collective responsibility.”

His party colleagues are divided on the issue, with some people from PO not supporting Sikorski’s comments. Their leader, Donald Tusk, as is common in such situations, is not revealing his opinion. Instead, he usually waits and observes how the situation unfolds.

“I was not surprised that some people in the Civic Coalition criticized the visa ban. Politicians who form such statements, Radosław Sikorski being a good example of that, are people whose main goal is to obtain prominent posts in the EU. To get such a post, one needs German support. Without it, it is not possible,” said Żurawski vel Grajewski.

The Polish professor said that this is the key to understanding most of the moves of the Polish opposition from the past and the present.

“They want to be someone in the EU. Donald Tusk achieved this goal, but Radosław Sikorski has not. He is trying to gain Berlin’s support,” added the professor.

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