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18 Mar, 2020 14:57

Poland & Russia allow others to benefit from their bad relations, this must end – ex-Polish president Walesa

Poland & Russia allow others to benefit from their bad relations, this must end – ex-Polish president Walesa

Warsaw is a lot closer to Moscow geographically than to Washington, so Poland and Russia have no choice but to find common ground, Lech Walesa, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, believes – otherwise both countries are losing.

Walesa, who was the Polish president between 1990 and 1995, is confident that having “good” bilateral relations is essential for both Poland and Russia.

But with the current level of our ties, we’re all losing – both Russia and Poland. And allow the third party to benefit. It’s always closer to Moscow from… Warsaw than to Washington.

The iconic leader of the Solidarity movement, who fought against Communist rule in the 1980s believes that Poland and Russia are “fated” to be together.

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“So let’s make this neighboring a pleasant one, instead of causing each other problems,” he suggested in an interview with RIA-Novosti. In order for relations between the two countries to have a future, they must first straighten out their past disputes by engaging in dialogue, Walesa pointed out.

“This past is both the liberation of Poland [from the Nazis by the Soviet army], for which we should be grateful. But it’s also imposing Communism on us, which we didn’t want.”

The two things are now mixed together and until they’re treated separately misunderstandings between Warsaw and Moscow will continue. The current Polish authorities have made Russophobia one of the cornerstones of their policies, constantly speaking about the ‘Russian threat’ and trying to portray their country as a victim of both Nazi Germany and the USSR in World War II.

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Moscow has vigorously rejected what it called attempts to rewrite history for short term gains by some politicians in Poland. Polish President Andrzej Duda is also reluctant to try to engage in dialogue with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, while trying hard to get on the good side of Donald Trump. There are already some 4,500 US troops stationed in Poland with plans to further boost the contingent and set up a permanent American military base, called ‘Fort Trump’ in the country. Walesa finds the US military presence in Poland “unreasonable,” saying that the Poles will eventually ask the Americans to leave. But in order to do so, Warsaw needs to have good relations with Moscow because in this case “there won’t be any need for the Americans.”

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