Ukraine is shifting away from Poland and now looking towards Germany and France for its future reconstruction, says Polish business leader

FILE - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, shakes hands with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, as French President Emmanuel Macron looks on at a joint press conference at the Élysée Palace in Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. (Sarah Meyssonnier, Pool via AP, File)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Talks about the reconstruction of Ukraine are taking place despite the war still being in progress. Polish business views the future reconstruction of Ukraine as a great opportunity and has been assured by both Polish and Ukrainian politicians that it will have a significant share in this process, but despite agreements already being signed, there are concerns that Ukraine is shifting its focus to other EU states.

Cezary Kaźmierczak, the head of the Union of Employers and Entrepreneurs, took to social media to comment on the developments that are not being noticed in Poland’s public domain. One of these is the change in the direction of Ukrainian foreign policy, which is now increasingly focused on the two most powerful EU states: Germany and France. 

He believes that Ukraine has concluded it has managed to obtain everything it could have gotten from Poland and that the Poles can do little more. That may not be a fact, but it is increasingly their perception, argues Kaźmierczak.

Moreover, he feels that Ukraine’s pivot to the core EU states could end in the same way it ended after the Russian annexation of Crimea and aggression in the Donbas — an attempt to freeze the conflict through something like the Normandy format between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. 

The business leader argues that Poland should keep calm and not make any radical changes in its policies. He feels Ukraine is still an immature society and polity, with which Poland should remain patient. Kaźmierczak wrote he believes that Poland’s objectives in Ukraine are ”the liberation of its territory and prevention of the freezing of the conflict, attracting Ukrainian migrants which the Polish economy badly needs and participation in the reconstruction of the country.”

Kaźmierczak urges realism in the expectations with regard to the reconstruction. He is skeptical about Polish businesses playing a leading role because they do not have the necessary capital to do so.

Poland, he thinks, should focus on areas such as small and medium-sized investments, which will be of less interest to Germany and France. Any big capital projects may only be unlocked through political pressure and negotiation. He added that Poland is doing well in trade with Ukraine and should not be disheartened by the present Ukrainian pivot towards Germany and France.

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