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3 Jul, 2018 13:04

Father of Polish PM calls for better ties with Moscow, despite years of anti-Soviet rhetoric

Father of Polish PM calls for better ties with Moscow, despite years of anti-Soviet rhetoric

The father of Poland’s prime minister, who was once a radical anti-communist dissident, slammed Warsaw for turning Poles against Russians, and said coming to terms with Moscow is in Europe’s and the world’s interest.

Kornel Morawiecki, Poland’s oldest senator and father of current Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has made a series of unexpected statements in a blunt interview with RIA Novosti news agency. “I was very saddened by the fact that Polish government and media, as well as Polish elites are turning Poles against Russians,” he said, claiming Russia is also pursuing a similar policy.

“This is very upsetting for our two great nations,” Morawiecki Sr. continued. “Our peoples have a very complicated history. Both of us were fighting for hegemony in recent times, and Russia won this battle. Nevertheless, I believe improving Poland-Russia ties is in the interest of our peoples, Europe and the rest of the world.”

“I would like to see it happen,” the Prime Minister’s father stated. “I don’t know how to have it done, but it seems to me every step and every gesture is of importance.”

The sitting Polish government does not seem interested in coming to terms with Russia, the news agency wrote, noting Prime Minister Morawiecki did not say a single word about improving ties with Moscow in his confirmation speech last year. This was “a mistake,” according to the prime minister’s father. “Many of our friends and partners do understand how Russia is important for the world,” he said.

Whereas Donald Trump is planning to meet with Vladimir Putin to try to improve bilateral ties, Warsaw is sitting on its hands, Morawiecki Sr. noticed. “I’m wondering why Trump can meet with Putin, but [Poland’s President Andrzej] Duda didn’t even try to arrange a meeting with the Russian President.”

“Europe needs Russia in strategic perspective, and Russia needs Europe,” he maintained. “Poland, in my opinion, is a natural bridge [connecting] Western Europe and Russia.”

Ties between Warsaw and Moscow have been strained for years, with Polish government accusing Russia of hostile policies, from harboring sinister invasion plans to orchestrating a 2010 plane crash that took the lives of then President Lech Kaczynski and his top officials.

In the meantime, Poland’s authorities have given the green light on demolition of Soviet World War II memorials in mid-2017, after the parliament passed a package of legislative amendments banning any communist or totalitarian regime propaganda, including any mention of names on buildings or other architectural sites. Since then, a number of the monuments have either been removed or desecrated.

Demolition of WWII-era memorial sites is “a petty doing,” Morawiecki Sr. said. The Soviet Union did install communism in Poland, but it has nothing to do with the Red Army’s sacrifice to liberate the country from Nazism, he believes. “Communism restricted our freedom, but Poland wouldn’t be able to free itself from the Germans,” he said.

Morawiecki Sr is the founder of Fighting Solidarity (Solidarnosc Walczaca), a radical anti-communist underground movement. Last year, he made headlines in Polish media by saying Jews moved to the ghetto during WWII to avoid non-Jews, including “nasty Poles.” 

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