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Poland -- Europe's only counterweight to Russia


delphiandomine 88 | 18,177
14 Apr 2016 #181
Now is it worth for a poor Polish family to face financial ruin just because a guy in Brussels can decide for them who they can and cannot sell apples to? I think not...

If they were stupid enough to base their entire livelihood on exporting to Russia of all places, then they deserve all they get. Anyone dealing with Putin knows that the border could close overnight, unlike if you're dealing with Germans or Brits.

They also won't face financial ruin, because the EU is providing financial support for those affected by the sanctions.
jon357 74 | 21,834
14 Apr 2016 #182
Offset by increased prices for food and higher taxes.

Looks like you're unclear about the meaning of the term "standard of living".

I know and it's unfortunate.

You're certainly entitled to hold that view, however here in Poland there is support for the sanctions.

They also won't face financial ruin, because the EU is providing financial support for those affected by the sanctions.

Exactly. And a good windfall outcome is the increase in locally grown produce here in the shops as well as the development of new products and new markets.

Poland doesn't need Russia, and the response of Poland to aggressive Russian expansionism and sabre-rattling does prove that it's an important part of the European counterweight.
AdrianK9 6 | 364
14 Apr 2016 #183
Yeah except Poland can't do anything to Russia - it would get steamrolled almost as quick as Georgia did.

Let's remember 3 things:

1. Obama's decision on a missile defense in Europe, or Poland for that matter, did NOTHING to deter Russian aggression.
2. Poland decided that it would need to beef up their military on their own.
3. Poland proved that the US is an unreliable partner and backtracks on promises.
jon357 74 | 21,834
14 Apr 2016 #184
Let's remember 3 things:

Better remember that all the Americans can do without escalating the issue is to pussyfoot around. More important is the EU's relationship to Russia and this is with only a few exceptions a negative one. In Poland's case very negative.
whocares
15 Apr 2016 #185
Its quite pathetic and sad that some people honestly believe Western countries and Poland live in fair, real, democracy government for and by the people (I see this with foreign Brits particularly). blind government conformists. They are "democrats" in name only. Government says its democracy so it must be!

Useful idiots.
jon357 74 | 21,834
15 Apr 2016 #186
conformists

People have been conformists since, well, Cro-Magnon times, eh?

Western countries and Poland live in fair, real, democracy government for and by the people

Better than some appalling nationalistic alternative such as the situation in Russia. People in Poland will choose a democracy (and no form of democracy is ever ideal - just workable and practical) every time having lived through the alternatives, especially the horrors of fascist occupation.
whocares
15 Apr 2016 #187
Funny how you leave out Communism. Nationalism is easily preferable to Cultural marxists and rainbow flag "democracies".
jon357 74 | 21,834
15 Apr 2016 #188
In Poland, Cro, people prefer the EU and democracy to Russian style extremism.
Polson 5 | 1,768
15 Apr 2016 #189
They've actively threatened Poland as demonstrated already. Not to mention the economic sabre-rattling...

As demonstrated already? When? And how? ;)
The economic sabre-rattling works both ways.

Kosovo's sovereignty is recognised by most countries including yours and mine.

As Adrian said, it's not as simple as it seems. Again. Many countries don't recognise its sovereignty, but since most of these countries don't belong to the Western world, I guess they don't count as much.

As to the sanctions against Russia, even countries inside the EU have different views on them. These sanctions will probably not last. It's a lose-lose situation.

Poland doesn't need Russia, and the response of Poland to aggressive Russian expansionism and sabre-rattling does prove that it's an important part of the European counterweight.

Russia doesn't "need" Poland either. Except that with today's free market and globalization, all countries are more or less interdependent. Economic sanctions harm both Russia and Poland, and the first ones to suffer from them are the people from Russia and Poland.

I'm thinking, maybe the Polish government has something to gain from playing the russophobia card. I mean they (and some European/American/Polish companies) may want to invest in Ukraine. And to do so, they may need to send Russian companies in Ukraine back home... But that's just my little theory ;)
jon357 74 | 21,834
15 Apr 2016 #190
Frequently and ad nauseam.

Russia is not only an enemy of democracy, it is an enemy of Poland and the rest of the Union, hence the importance of Poland's robust support for Ukraine and above all something that everyone understands here - that the free world stands together against Russian expansionism, authoritarianism and aggression.
Ironside 53 | 12,448
15 Apr 2016 #191
It would need a fundamental change in Polish attitudes though

I don't think that an answer lies in an attitude. Simply Poland needs an elite that know how, in diplomacy as well.

You seem not to be well informed about issues you are talking about here.

Polish-Lithuanian

Lithuanian governments are the problem here.

Belarus.

Nah, this country has a potential to be a very good ally to Poland.
Polson 5 | 1,768
15 Apr 2016 #192
Frequently and ad nauseam.

This is the first time you actually answered the question, congratulations!

it is an enemy of Poland and the rest of the Union

That's not true. Before the Ukrainian crisis, the relations between Russia and the EU were good and actually getting better.
But the US cannot stand the idea of us, Europeans, having close ties with Russia, because in such a case, we (EU+Russia) would become America's rival on the global scene and challenge US hegemony. Some American analysts have clearly suggested the US governement to prevent any "alliance" between Germany and Russia, because it would seriously endanger America's hegemony.

When you think about it, the Ukraine crisis arrived right on time (pure coincidence I guess), and now Europe "hates" Russia almost as much as America does ;) But, as I said, this is a lose-lose situation. For Europe and Russia. Not for America.

that the free world stands together against Russian expansionism, authoritarianism and aggression.

Where was the "free world" when Irak and Libya (for instance) were destroyed?
Also, please give me the definition of the "free world". It didn't have much sense during the Cold War, I'm wondering what it can possibly be today...
Crow 155 | 9,030
15 Apr 2016 #193
free world

free world?

Is that the same free world that invented Drang Nach Osten, slave hunt of Slavs, genocide on Slavs, Nazism, Communism, Socialism, inquisition, witch hunt, slave hunt of Black Africans, genocide on Black Africans, NATO, falsification of history as it suits them, genocide on native Americans, first used A bomb, etc, etc? That free world?
Lyzko 45 | 9,281
16 Apr 2016 #194
For those unfamiliar with "Drang nach Osten", the East of Europe aka Russia, had remained a sort of chimera for Germans throughout the centuries. When Hitler was in a position to realize his "Lebensraum" strategy, he indeed did push East and saw the "untamed" East much the same way as those Manifest Destinians of ours envisioned the American West; this was an untapped resource to be tapped and CONQUERED, by consent, if possible, brutal force, if necessary!
whocares
16 Apr 2016 #195
Drang Nach Osten, slave hunt of Slavs, genocide on Slavs, Nazism, Communism, ..... NATO, falsification of history as it suits them, genocide on native Americans, first used A bomb, etc, etc?

Yep thats what they call the "free world". Sad isnt it.
Lyzko 45 | 9,281
16 Apr 2016 #196
Genocide, ethnic "cleansing" and the like, is scarcely unique to 2Oth century Europe, guys!

What is or was unique, was the dovetail of methodical execution of same, coupled with a dogged ideo-biological aggression which allowed for no deviation:-)

Hippler's "The Eternal Jew" evidenced no equivalent virulence against the Sinti-Roma, unspeakable as the treatment was of that group under the Nazis.
AdrianK9 6 | 364
16 Apr 2016 #197
Government says its democracy so it must be!

Haha yup - like the 'Democratic People's Republic of Korea'

It's funny to watch the sub Saharans attempt to establish 'democracy' - savage oppressive klepocrats replacing slightly less savage oppressive kleptocrats.

Where was the "free world" when Irak and Libya (for instance) were destroyed?

Well, it was destroyed by American politicians with bankers and their lobbyists/influence groups pulling the strings and egging them on.
Marsupial - | 881
16 Apr 2016 #198
Gee I would feel guilty as a ruski coming on forums and pretending that economic deprivation is great and that things are cool in russia for it's populous. I would feel like a traitor to my countrymen.
Lyzko 45 | 9,281
16 Apr 2016 #199
"Guilty as a ruski.."

Interesting idiom. Don't think I've ever heard that one. Is that like "I'm as hungry as a horse."?

Or do you mean, "As a Russian, I'd feel guilty...."?

Just teasing (...sort of):-)
jon357 74 | 21,834
16 Apr 2016 #200
hat's not true.

It's very true:

Russia is more dangerous than Islamic State, Poland's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski, told reporters during a visit to Slovakia.

"By all evidence, Russia's activity is a sort of existential threat because this activity can destroy countries," said Waszczykowski

theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/15/russia-more-dangerous-isis-polish-foreign-minister-witold-waszczykowski

Where was the "free world" when Irak and Libya (for instance) were destroyed?

Doing the destroying of course. If it's gotta go, it's gotta go. As Angus Wilson said, we have to fight fascism where we find it.
pweeg3
16 Apr 2016 #201
If suddenly sanctions prevent me from sending my apples to my Russian customer

You completely missed the point. Russia put sanctions on Poland, its illegal for Russians to buy Polish goods.

The EU doesn't make it illegal to export to Russia.

Anyone dealing with Putin knows that the border could close overnight, unlike if you're dealing with Germans or Brits.

This is a key point. Russia's first action at the launch of the 'Free Trade' Eurasian Union was to block the exports of Belarus.
Marsupial - | 881
16 Apr 2016 #202
It's sad that all democracy stopes at polands border just like it did 100s of years ago. The eastern simpletons are slow learners.
Polson 5 | 1,768
16 Apr 2016 #203
it was destroyed by American politicians with bankers and their lobbyists/influence groups pulling the strings and egging them on.

Indeed, the same ones who used the sacred values of democracy, free world, the holy fight of the good vs the evil, etc. as a justification for their criminal actions ;)

Russia is more dangerous than Islamic State, Poland's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski, told reporters during a visit to Slovakia.

Poor guy, I'm not sure one can be more ridiculous than that, really. I'm really concerned about some Polish politicians' mental health.
Good that you mentioned Slovakia though. Slovakia's government seems much wiser and smarter about the situation. And I think the same goes with the Czechs.

I read this article from Onet (generally quite russophobic) yesterday, here:
wiadomosci.onet.pl/swiat/msz-slowacji-rosja-strategicznym-partnerem-europy/yf9qp3
I don't know if you speak any Polish, so let me translate the very first sentence of the article:

-Rosję musimy traktować jako strategicznego partnera do rozwiązania globalnych problemów, a nie jako część problemu.
-We must treat Russia as a strategical partner to solve global problems, and not as a part of the problem.
(Miroslav Lajčák, head of Slovakia's diplomacy)

Onet's Polish readers don't seem to agree with Waszczykowski, if you give a look at the comments right below the article.
Poles do not all give up to the mass hysteria. Phew.

Doing the destroying of course. If it's gotta go, it's gotta go.

Then let's be consistent with our sacred values and let's go and destroy Saudi Arabia, and maybe Turkey and North Korea. What do you think? Who cares about what will happen after the destruction of these countries, and the millions of dead and refugees. If we decide what's good for them, they will probably understand.

Sorry to say it, Jon, but you're the fascist here.
jon357 74 | 21,834
16 Apr 2016 #204
I'm really concerned about some Polish politicians' mental health.

One of the few sensible thing to come out of that party - though there is one thing that all major political parties in Poland agree on - their support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and their awareness that Russia is a threat.

What do you think?

It's what you can do and what you can't do - plus of course the scale of the threat. And nobody likes to share a border with Russia, do they?
Polson 5 | 1,768
17 Apr 2016 #205
though there is one thing that all major political parties in Poland agree on - their support for Ukraine's territorial integrity

Until the day they get the chance to take Lwów back into Poland... Maybe they wouldn't care so much about "Ukraine's territorial integrity" if that day ever comes ;)

I'm not sure they really care about Ukraine. I think they just need to complain about Russia. Over and over again.

their awareness that Russia is a threat.

Yeah, yeah. Poland will keep buying American weapons to protect itself from a danger that doesn't exist (to me). This is money they will never see again. Total waste.

To me, ISIS is a much greater threat to Europe (and even Poland) than Russia will ever be.
The only reason I see for Russia to attack Poland is if Poland attacks Russia first. Which, hopefully, won't happen. *fingers crossed*

plus of course the scale of the threat.

Indeed, it's much wiser (some would say more cowardly) to attack countries who can't really defend themselves. And if they have oil reserves, it's even better ;)

And nobody likes to share a border with Russia, do they?

I don't know. Finland, Belarus, Mongolia, and China seem to be fine.
jon357 74 | 21,834
17 Apr 2016 #206
Until the day they get the chance to take Lwów back into Poland...

Not a chance - there's no territorial ambition for Lwow and Poland respects Ukraines borders...

a danger that doesn't exist (to me).

It does however exist for the rest of us.

I don't know. Finland, Belarus, Mongolia, and China seem to be fine.

You don't follow geopolitics much, do you, given that one is a near satellite, another is a rival, one is a buffer and the most developed of them has very strained relations...
dolnoslask 6 | 2,946
17 Apr 2016 #207
" no territorial ambition for Lwow " this is true , bt it does look as if the Ukraine will be partitioned in the east.

Now if all the Nazi lunatics move east there just maybe the opportunity for the Ukraine to become part of greater Poland still retaining its Parliament laws and governing structure , a bit like the relationship of Scotland and England, this would bring western Ukraine into the EU.

Bit of a long shot I know, but I do think there would be benefits for both Poland and the Ukraine, allot depends on Brexit, there would be a good deal of EU funding required.
Polson 5 | 1,768
17 Apr 2016 #208
there's no territorial ambition for Lwow and Poland respects Ukraines borders...

That's what any country in the world would say... ;) Every country respects other countries' borders. Of course they do.

It does however exist for the rest of us.

Speak for yourself, Jon. Didn't you read the comments of the article? These are Polish people from Poland, and they seem to disagree with you. And I'm not sure that Poland is filled with putinists, really.

You don't follow geopolitics much, do you, given that one is a near satellite, another is a rival, one is a buffer and the most developed of them has very strained relations...

I do follow geopolitics quite a lot. Enough to know that we should be very careful when a "rival" state of Russia says that Russia is a bigger threat than ISIS.

Again, Russia has NO reason to attack Poland. NO tiny reason whatsoever. There would be no possible justification for such an aggression. Unless Poland keeps provoking Russia with more and more NATO troops stationing on its territory, clearly aiming at Russia, which could eventually make a legitimate casus belli for Russia to defend itself. Is that really what Poland wants? Another WW2 on its soil? To give Russia a good reason for a preventive war à l'américaine?

The major threat doesn't come from Russia but more from hysterical individuals like you and your irrational fears. Let's face it, you don't serve Poland's interests with such a behaviour, unfortunately. You're actually throwing Poland into the lion's mouth by maintaining and even fueling tensions, instead of trying to ease them, which would be beneficial for everyone (except the ones who can't get enough of wars).

That's how wars break out. When the different parties cannot stop the escalation, until they reach the point of no return. Then it's too late.

I wish we had learned from past mistakes.
jon357 74 | 21,834
17 Apr 2016 #209
That's what any country in the world would say... ;)

And some are less credible than others. To repeat, since you evidently have issues understanding, Poland respects Ukraine's borders.

Didn't you read the comments of the article?

People who comment on articles are representative of nothing.

I do follow geopolitics quite a lot

Evidently not that much, given the rather weak 'examples' you tried to give.

The bottom line is that Poland is a full and committed member of NATO and the EU. Russia is disliked in Poland and has made threats, as well as invading a friendly neighbouring country.

A few interesting developments this morning:

Poland's foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, said he wanted "presence, presence, presence and once again presence" of Nato troops to act as a "symbol of readiness to defend the eastern flank."

German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen.....said that Nato's new rapid reaction force is enough to ensure that "Russia should not even think about trying" to attack Poland or one of the Baltic states."

Ian Brzezinski, a former Pentagon official whonow works forthe Atlantic Council...predicted that Russia will stage a military provocation ahead of the Warsaw summit.

Unnarmed Russian jets simulated attacks on a US warship, the USS Donald Cook, in the Baltic Sea over a three-day period earlier this week, the Pentagon's Townsend said.

euobserver.com/foreign/133084

The summit will be very interesting (as well as a nuisance to Warsaw residents, just as G20 was) however it's doubtful that much will change.
dolnoslask 6 | 2,946
17 Apr 2016 #210
Interestig artice Jon "To build a permanent new base ... you're just adding one item to your adversary's target list" correct it would only be making a token political statement of which Russia would take no notice of.

Now a Home army or Militia made up of trained citizens who are armed on a permanent basis would be a deterrent to any invader, they may invade but they would not be able to sit on their laurels while they are being shot at and being blown up by an IDE at every street corner by a large group of properly armed Guerrillas look at Afganistan, many an invader has tried to conquer them but have ended up running away with their tails between their legs.


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