Union between Poland and Ukraine would be 2nd largest state in Europe, feature most powerful military, argues Foreign Policy magazine

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

The U.S. magazine Foreign Policy has suggested creating a political structure based on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as a potential solution to current issues affecting Ukraine and Poland. The alliance formed over 600 years ago by the Union of Krewo could offer solutions for today’s Europe, according to the magazine.

The historical union, which also included significant portions of present-day Belarus and Ukraine, helped unite extensive territories of Eastern Europe, including the lands of ancient Kievan Rus, with Western Christianity and countered the threat from the Teutonic Knights.

“The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth grew to become one of the largest countries in Europe and a fascinating laboratory of political governance, studied in some detail by the United States’ founding fathers, particularly in the Federalist Papers. After the end of the Jagiellonian dynasty, it transformed into an electoral monarchy, similar to the city-states of Italy yet operating on a vastly larger scale,” the American magazine notes.

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth territories at their maximum extent in the 17th century. (Source: Wikipedia)

It highlights the benefits of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, starting from the parliamentary unanimity principle, religious tolerance, and freedom enjoyed by the nobility, in contrast to the absolutist monarchies of Western Europe.

“What if a similar political solution were available to the problems facing Ukraine and Poland today?” asks Foreign Policy.

It argues that a political union between both countries is not motivated by nostalgia but by common interests.

“To be sure, due to four centuries of common history within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, much of today’s Ukraine (and Belarus) shares far more of its past with Poland than it does with Russia, notwithstanding claims of Russian propagandists to the contrary and notwithstanding the fact that the relationship was oftentimes highly complicated,” argues the American magazine.

“Both countries are facing a threat from Russia. Today, Poland is a member in good standing of the EU and NATO, while Ukraine is keen to join both organizations — not unlike the Grand Duchy of yesteryear, eager to become part of mainstream, Christianized Europe. Even if Ukraine’s war against Russia ends with a decisive Ukrainian victory, driving degraded Russian forces out of the country, Kyiv faces a potentially decades-long struggle to join the EU, not to speak of obtaining credible security guarantees from the United States,” notes Foreign Policy.

The magazine imagines what would happen if, after the war, Poland and Ukraine created a federal or confederal joint state, combining foreign and defense policies and immediately bringing Ukraine into the EU and NATO.

“The Polish-Ukrainian Union would become the second-largest country in the EU and arguably its largest military power, providing more than an adequate counterweight to the Franco-German tandem — something that the EU is sorely missing after Brexit,” speculates Foreign Policy.

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