New Polish President Makes Baltic–Black Sea Alliance a Centerpiece of His Foreign Policy

On August 5, one day before his inauguration, Polish president-elect Andrzej Duda said that he would make the creation of such an alliance among the states between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas the centerpiece of his foreign policy efforts. Over time, he suggested, this regional bloc could lead to deeper economic, military and even political integration (Forsal.pl, August 5). Duda then alluded again to this proposal in more generalized terms on his inauguration day (Prezydent.pl, August 6). In doing so, he resuscitated an idea that had been pushed by his predecessor and mentor, the former president Lech Kaczyński, who passionately supported this brainchild of Piłsudski (Natemat.pl, August 5). Kaczyński died in a tragic aircraft accident over western Russia in April 2010—an accident that a small but vocal minority inside Poland remains convinced was caused by Moscow. For its part, Moscow has always been against any type of cooperation among the states of Central-Eastern Europe, viewing it as a kind of wall blocking Russia off from the rest of Europe (Rusjev.net, August 6).

The new Polish head of state clearly sees the time as being ripe for such a push: East-West tensions are at their highest levels since the dark days of the Cold War; Ukraine needs help, and cooperation of this kind with its Central-Eastern European neighbors would open the way for more assistance; the United Kingdom and France are not against an arrangement that might counterbalance growing German power in the East; and Poland itself is interested in creating an alliance or buffer zone to protect itself against the aggressive designs of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The United States has not taken a position on this notion, but would likely oppose it if the Intermarium is directed—as it almost certainly would be—against Moscow.

http://jamestownfoundation.blogspot.com/2015/08/new-polish-president-makes-balticblack.html

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