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7 Apr, 2022 08:58

Poland reveals new anti-Russia proposals

Propping up the Ukrainian militarily and hitting Russia with sanctions is the way to go, President Duda says
Poland reveals new anti-Russia proposals

The only type of diplomatic engagement Western nations should have with Russia is setting ultimatums, Polish President Andrzej Duda said, as cited by CNN on Wednesday.

Duda, whose background is in the ruling ultra-nationalist Law and Justice party, defended the position previously expressed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who criticized some European leaders, particularly French President Emmanuel Macron, for keeping diplomatic channels with Russia open. Morawiecki compared Russian President Vladimir Putin with Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Pol Pot, saying no one should talk to these types of leaders.

“Dialogue with Russia has no sense,” the Polish leader told CNN. “One has to present very tough conditions to Vladimir Putin. One has to say, ‘Unless you meet these conditions, we don’t have anything to talk about.’”

He called for more military assistance for Ukraine and harsher sanctions on Russian. Talking to Russia without getting anything out of it “is only a game to buy time by Russia,” Duda said.

The Polish president said he hopes that no one in, what he termed, the international community will ever talk to Putin and “consider him as a decent and fair leader, or politician simply.”

Poland’s full-throttled antagonism towards Russia is not shared by all EU nations, and it's worth noting that hardcore Russophobia plays to Law and Justice's domestic base. 

Macron responded to Morawiecki’s criticism by calling it “baseless and scandalous.”

Hungary likewise went against the drive to isolate Russia. Newly re-elected Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday that he invited the leaders of Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine for a summit in Budapest.

Poland has long been one of the most vocal advocates for confronting Russia. The two countries, in their various forms, have had turbulent relations for a considerable part of the past 1,000 years, and polling has shown that anti-Russian feeling is common among Polish citizens. 

The calls to treat Putin like Hitler escalated after Kiev accused Russian troops of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Moscow called the allegations false and said the purpose was to derail peace talks between the two nations.

Warsaw endorsed Kiev’s claims that Russian troops were committing genocide. “The goal of that invasion is simply to extinguish the Ukrainian nation,” Duda told CNN. No independent investigation of the allegations has been conducted.

Moscow attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to regularize the status of the regions within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.