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10.04.2017

Merkel could come to Moscow to talk about Ukraine. And about Poland?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is leaving for Moscow - the Russian capital waiting for her 2 of May. This was announced last Saturday, 8 April, the German magazine Der Spiegel, on whose publication drew attention to the Polish edition, although not yet had time to comment on the news. A detail which lead German journalists, can not cause a reaction in Warsaw. Let us give them the Polish portal Dziennik.pl.

The decision of the Chancellor to meet with President Vladimir Putin at his home means a turn in her policy towards Russia, Der Spiegel believes. After all, until recently, Merkel believed that the condition for the visit should be "success in Ukraine and in Syria." Hence the visit of the Chancellor, who entered the struggle on the eve of the elections in September this year to the German Bundestag, not only an "unusual step", but also a testament to the serious concern of the head of the Cabinet with the international situation. Referring to sources in the German Foreign Ministry, the publication states that Berlin is afraid that the absence of determination from the US after the coming to power of President Donald Trump will allow Putin to feel strong enough to force the split of Ukraine. Accordingly, a huge loss for Merkel's reputation would be an agreement between Washington and Moscow, which destroys the Minsk process, which the chancellor considers to be a significant merit.

In this situation, she could become an intermediary between Trump and Putin, given that at the recent meeting of the Chancellor and the US President in the United States, according to Der Spiegel, it was mainly about Ukraine. "The Office of the Federal Chancellor wants to force the Americans to return to the game," concludes the publication. "Because Kiev does not show the necessary flexibility without Washington's pressure." However, the visit to Moscow will be profitable for Merkel from the point of view of domestic policy, regardless of the results of negotiations with the Russian president. The Social Democratic Party of Germany plans during the election campaign in the Bundestag to attack the Chancellor for "hostile attitude" to Russia. In turn, as stated by the deputy parliamentary faction of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Rolf Mutzenich, "we do not rush to the neck of Putin, but we rely on dialogue." Thus, the negotiations in Moscow alone will give Merkel grounds to tell his opponents in Germany that she "was trying to improve relations with the Kremlin."

But equally, regardless of the outcome of the talks with the Russian president, the visit of the chancellor to Russia creates another unpleasant surprise for Polish diplomacy, which since the beginning of 2017 has too often missed sensitive attacks. The Middle East mosaicism and kaleidoscopy is now becoming a sign of the previously stable policy on the line Eastern Europe - Baltic - Russia. Warsaw, with its foreign policy conception inherited by the ruling party "Right and Justice" (PiS) from the era of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, all with great difficulty responds to new challenges. Poland's attempts to reach an agreement with Germany last time during the meeting of 7 February this year in Warsaw with Prime Minister Beata Shidlo, Polish President Andrzej Duda and PiS President Jaroslaw Kaczynski showed their "effectiveness" during the re-election of the President of the European Council. Recall that in March this position, contrary to the requirements of Poland, was re-elected its former Prime Minister Donald Tusk. And Warsaw itself has put itself in opposition to many countries of the European Union and the largest center-right European People's Party, which includes Christian-democratic and conservative parties and defends today the idea of ​​strengthening the EU.

Thus, almost the only direction where Poland could realize its foreign policy initiatives was the eastern one. But here, too, there have been great setbacks in recent times. About Ukraine and say nothing. IA REGNUM already reported that Polish experts openly write about this state as "failed", especially against the backdrop of the recent shelling of the Consulate General in Lutsk. At the same time, the vice-president of the Christian-Conservative Party "Right Republic" (Prawica Rzeczypospolitej) Marian Pilka, whose tribune was given by the respectable Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, requires Warsaw to make adjustments to its policy towards Ukraine, recognizing that "this is not Poland, but the USA and Great Britain guaranteed in 1994 the territorial integrity of Ukraine after its renunciation of nuclear weapons, and it's not Poland, but Germany and France Ukraine has chosen as its mediators in negotiations with Russia. " By and large, Warsaw, no less than Moscow, has reasons to talk about "splitting Ukraine" with Berlin.

Attempts to get closer to Minsk ended in failure after another sharp turn of the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, who hinted at the participation of Poland in provoking unrest in his country. At the same time, in Lithuania, the report "Review of National Security Threats", published annually by the Department of State Security, concludes that the implementation of the Treaty on Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Relations with Poland concluded at 1994 would be useful for Russia. Special emotions in Poland and Polonia provoked the words that "if the Polish community received exclusive rights, it would give Russia and the groups that are under its influence an excuse to demand the same rights for the Russian community in all the Baltic countries." The pro-government Gazeta Polska openly criticizes the Polish Foreign Ministry, accusing it of "we are fighting a bitter struggle with Vilnius" because of its "anti-Polish actions" and "demanding that Poles in Belarus do not interfere in politics and stay away from the opposition." At the same time, Polish diplomacy in the person of Deputy Foreign Minister Marek Zhulkovsky includes the "Belarusian issue" in the course of negotiations with German colleague Marcus Ederer in the context of "talking about Polish-German relations and security in Central and Eastern Europe".

Taking into account also the presence of the contingent of the Bundeswehr in Lithuania, the intensification of communication between Vilnius and Berlin, starting from the beginning of this year, a puzzle begins to take shape, in which the presence of Germany is an important factor in the Polish-Lithuanian, Polish-Belarusian and Polish-Ukrainian relations. Hence the question is, can it be that in the case of Chancellor Merkel and President Putin announced at the German press meeting in Moscow, the discussion of the mechanism for settling the conflict in Ukraine will cost no reflection on what Russia and Germany are doing with Poland? Theoretically, such a probability is, but in practice it looks unrealistic. Warsaw periodically gave and lets know about its fears about a possible "secret collusion" between Moscow and Berlin over Poland. But here the head is sprinkled with ashes in case of which the Poles themselves will have to. As the French say in this case, "you wanted it, Georges Danden!".

A source: A REGNUM

Author: Stanislav Stremidlovsky

Tags: Germany, Merkel, Russia, Putin, Poland, Politics, International Relations, Research, Europe