News Foreign policy Ministry Travel to Poland
THEY WROTE ABOUT US
“Poland is concerned about the mounting chaos in Ukraine,” writes Michael Kuttner, the Berlin correspondent of the Danish daily Jylands-Posten, in his article “I remember 1989 and the Russian ‘nyet.’” The author points out that the reaction by Polish diplomats and officials to the dramatic developments in Ukraine was very resolute and decisive. In Kuttner’s view, this is manifested in the fact that a joint mission to Kyiv of the Polish, German and French foreign ministers was put together on a short notice.
The paper quotes Henryka Mościcka-Dendys, the Undersecretary of State at the Polish Foreign Ministry, as saying that Poland is very worried about the current situation in Ukraine, condemns the use of violence by both sides of the conflict, and encourages Ukraine’s government and opposition to reach a compromise. In her view, “violence needs to cease if Ukraine wants to join a group of stable members of the European family.” The Deputy Minister underlines that Polish interest in Ukraine stems from humanitarian and political considerations, rather than fears for Poland’s eastern border.
Michael Kuttner emphasizes the importance that Ukraine has for Poland given both countries’ history, family and people-to-people connections. He believes that this explains Poland’s sense of a special responsibility for resolving the Ukrainian conflict. In this context he recalls Aleksander Kwaśniewski’s missions to Ukraine, which have been welcomed by other EU member states.
The daily quotes an anonymous Western diplomat as saying that the way the situation in Ukraine develops could also be decisive for the future of Russia. The deputy chief of Polish diplomacy in turn underscores: “It’s the Ukrainians themselves who must decide about their country’s future. The key to this solution is in Kyiv, not in Moscow. A stable and more pro-European Ukraine would favour a more democratic Russia.” She also recalls the Russian rhetoric of 1989, “when Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary were seen as part of the Eastern Bloc, and it was said they would never break free from it. Boris Yeltsin said a big ‘nyet’.”
Source: Jyllands-Posten, “I remember 1989 and the Russian ‘nyet,’” Michael Kuttner, 21 February 2014.