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Poland will terminate gas supply contract with Russia | Source: The First News

Poland will no longer need Russian gas supplies delivered by the Yamal pipeline next October owing to the start of deliveries of North Sea gas via the new Baltic Pipe, through a Polish-Danish strategic gas infrastructure project, that will bring Norwegian gas to the Polish markets, and will help Poland diversify natural gas supplies.

Source: The First News


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Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were The First US Allies To Be Abandoned By Biden

Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were The First US Allies To Be Abandoned By Biden

19 AUGUST 2021

Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were The First US Allies To Be Abandoned By Biden

The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

The world is talking about the next US allies to be abandoned by President Biden after he shamefully hung his Afghan ones out to dry during America’s panicked retreat from the country. Some commentators believe that Ukraine might be next, but in reality, it and Poland were actually the first US allies whose interests were betrayed in pursuit of the so-called “greater good” despite Biden’s promises that he wouldn’t conduct his country’s foreign policy in the Machiavellian way that Trump did. I’ve been chronicling this for some time, but for those who haven’t closely followed my work over the past few months, here are my most relevant analyses accompanied by a concise summary of each:

* 8 April: “Why Does Ukraine Want War?

Ukraine provoked hostilities in Donbass in a desperate attempt to remain relevant to the new US administration at the behest of some of the anti-Russian members of its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) who wanted to sabotage Biden’s behind-the-scenes outreaches to Russia.

* 14 April: “Poland Must Wake Up To The Threat Of German Hybrid War

Germany has been actively working as America’s “Lead From Behind” proxy for overthrowing the conservative-nationalist Polish government through Hybrid War means connected to Berlin’s backing of its neighbor’s Color Revolution movement.

* 24 April: “What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

Russia didn’t fall for the trap laid out for it by hostile elements in the American “deep state”, though considerable credit for this somewhat surprising de-escalation also goes to Biden since he didn’t make matters worse like many predicted that he would at the time.

* 2 June: “Poland’s Counterproductive Foreign Policy Is Responsible For Its Present Predicament

Poland was shocked by Biden’s decision to waive most of the US’ Nord Stream II sanctions, but it should have seen this coming since the moment he stepped into office and actively begun diversifying its foreign policy instead of remaining entirely dependent on America’s “good graces”.

* 11 June: “Towards Increasingly Complex Multipolarity: Scenarios For The Future

I predicted that the US would “compromise” on the interests of some of its allies like Poland and Ukraine in pursuit of the “greater good” of pragmatically repairing relations with Russia so as to focus more of its efforts on actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

* 15 June: “How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

It then became increasingly obvious that Poland and the US have some irreconcilable grand strategic differences that far surpass their common military interests vis-a-vis Russia, but the aspiring Central European hegemon had yet to make any decisive moves to recalibrate its foreign policy in response.

* 24 June: “Polish-US Missile Defense Co-Op Is A Strategic Smokescreen

To preemptively thwart Poland from doing anything dramatic that could bolster its strategic independence, the US went ahead with their prior “missile defense” plans, which served the purpose of keeping Poland in its clutches and also misleading that country’s leadership into thinking that the US was still their “trusted” ally.

* 12 July: “Former Polish PM Tusk Ridiculously Alleged A Kaczysnski-Putin Conspiracy

Germany proxy Donald Tusk escalated the Hybrid War on Poland by claiming that the country’s viciously Russophobic grey cardinal was secretly Russian President Putin’s puppet, which preemptively thwarted his target’s plans to claim the same about him following his return to the country to lead the Color Revolution.

* 15 July: “It’s Time For A Polish-Russian ‘Non-Aggression’ Pact In Belarus & Ukraine

In the face of such increased Hybrid War pressure against it, the most pragmatic thing that Poland could do is clinch a so-called “non-aggression” pact with Russia in their overlapping “spheres of influence” in order to focus more of its security services’ efforts on defending itself from the joint US-German regime change campaign.

* 19 July: “Poland Should Follow Ukraine’s Lead By Using China To Balance The US

As unexpected as it was for most observers to acknowledge, Ukraine’s US-controlled puppet government actually began making serious moves to use China as a “balancing” force against America, which should have inspired Poland to follow suit as a means of showing the US how dissatisfied it is with the ongoing Hybrid War.

* 26 July: “The US-German Hybrid War Against Poland Is Intensifying

Poland’s lack of resolve in defending itself from the joint US-German Hybrid War only served to embolden its nominal “allies” to intensify their regime change campaign, which threatened to make matters much worse for its beleaguered conservative-nationalist government.

* 29 July: “The West Is Pressuring Poland & Russia Due To Their Conservative-Nationalist Values

Poland and Russia are interestingly in the same boat vis-a-vis the West since the latter is pressuring both of them due to their conservative-nationalist values, which Warsaw has yet to realize and thus explains why it’s still in a state of shock after its so-called “allies” so decisively turned against it.

* 13 August: “Ukrainian Ethno-Fascism vs. Russian Multiculturalism

Ukraine’s response to America’s strategic betrayal of its interests hasn’t been to pragmatically explore a possible rapprochement with Russia like it should have done if its leadership had any wisdom but to counterproductively double down on its Russophobic policies.

* 12 August: “Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

The combination of US-German Hybrid War pressure and the unexpected migrant crisis coming from Belarus might finally cause Poland to rethink its self-defeating regional policy of functioning as America’s anti-Russian puppet after receiving literally no rewards for this role nor relief from the regime change pressure upon it.


Having indisputably established that Poland and Ukraine were the first US allies to be abandoned under Biden, it’s now time to talk a little bit more about the latter’s predicament. President Zelensky plans to finally meet his American counterpart at the end of the month, but many observers are wondering why it’s even taken so long. One possible reason other than the US leader’s deliberate mistreatment of his country’s ally is that he’s simply embarrassed because of the slew of scandals connecting him to that country such as the Burisma one with his son Hunter and Biden’s bargain with Poroshenko to fire former General Prosecutor Shokin who was investigating the first-mentioned scandal.

Biden also wanted Zelensky to bend over and accept that America was “compromising” on Ukraine’s interests as part of the “greater good” related to repairing relations with Russia in order to more actively refocus the US’ efforts on “containing” China. The Ukrainian leader understandably felt betrayed by Biden and began to lose faith in America’s reliability as an ally, which explains why his country started reaching out more to China lately. Even so, nothing that Kiev might do can fully protect its interests if Washington cuts a deal with Moscow over Eastern Ukraine like some commentators now speculate might be in the cards as part of their gradual rapprochement.

As for Poland, it too has been caught with its pants down by Biden’s pragmatic deal-making with Russia and also doesn’t have any realistic means to defend its interests in response to them being “traded away” by the American leader. Unlike Ukraine whose conservative-nationalist values are supported by the US because they take the extreme form of ethno-fascism that can be weaponized to keep Russian influence there at bay, the Polish government’s comparatively more mild values are seen as a threat to the entire Western project because of the possibility that they can influence other EU members and thus undermine the US’ plans to have Germany’s liberal-globalist ideology dominate the continent in order to control its countries by proxy.

Poland and Ukraine are therefore at America’s mercy. Their interests were betrayed by their “ally” even before Biden abandoned his country’s Afghan “allies”. Observers should become more aware of this fact since it shows that nobody should have been surprised by what just happened in that South Asian country. The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific. It remains to be seen how much more “collateral damage” the US’ “allies” will suffer as a result of this policy, but there’s no longer any denying that such a Machiavellian policy exists.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Poland, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Biden, Trump.


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Poland is transferring troops to Belarusian border to stop illegal migration | Source: Remix

Several hundred soldiers will be directed to the Polish-Belarusian border in the upcoming days to ensure its security against increasingly common attempts to illegally enter Polish territory. The migrants are transported from Minsk to the border with Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland with the full permission of Belarusian authorities.

Source: Remix


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Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

12 AUGUST 2021

Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland – the top “Three Seas Initiative” states most active in the US-backed Hybrid War on Belarus – are experiencing some unexpected trouble at home and along their frontiers with that former Soviet Republic which might cause them to rethink their aggressive policies against Minsk for pragmatism’s sake.

Recent developments might compel the “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland into backing off from the active role that they play in the US-backed Hybrid War on Belarus. Each of them has suddenly experienced some unexpected trouble either at home and/or along their frontiers with that former Soviet Republic. All three of them are struggling in their response to the surge in illegal immigration coming from their shared neighbor, which Minsk denies is being weaponized by its leadership as an unconventional response to their pressure upon it but which nevertheless seems to at the very least be “passively facilitated” by it. Furthermore, Lithuania and Poland recently saw some large-scale protests in response to contentious domestic policies, all the while the Color Revolution in Belarus continues to peter out into practically nothing.

Vilnius saw some chaos outside its parliament earlier in the week due to its people’s fury at the authorities’ plans to legally discriminate against non-vaccinated citizens. Meanwhile, Warsaw and several other Polish cities saw demonstrations against the government’s media reform bill which has drawn the ire of the country’s nominal American and German allies. That development also resulted in the governing coalition fraying after the sacking of a Deputy Prime Minister and subsequent withdrawal of his party from that selfsame coalition due to their opposition to that policy. Furthermore, Poland just submitted to the EU’s “financial imperialism”. All of this coincided with Belarusian President Lukashenko signaling a “phased leadership transition” in the coming future and detained anti-government blogger Protasevich admitting that the coup against him failed.

With each of these four countries caught up in their own domestic crises, it’s therefore sensible that Lukashenko extended an olive branch to his 3SI opponents and in particular Poland with the hope that they’d accept so that everyone can then focus more on resolving their more pressing problems at home. It’s unclear whether this attempt at a so-called “non-aggression pact” will bear any fruit, but it’s a welcome development in any case. It also puts the onus on those three countries over whether or not to continue escalating regional tensions like Minsk accused Vilnius of recently doing along their shared border. The argument can be made that some of those countries, especially little Lithuania, have a self-interested desire in provoking a regional crisis in order to sabotage the US’ efforts to broker its own “non-aggression pact” with Russia and focus more on China.

Be that as it may, it’s veritably in their national interests to seriously consider Belarus’ olive branch. Latvia and Lithuania are disproportionately affected by the regional migration crisis coming from Belarus due to their small populations. Lithuania also has to confront the unexpectedly violent resistance to its COVID-19 policies on top of whatever unconventional response China might undertake following Vilnius’ decision to host a de facto so-called “Taiwanese embassy” as part of its ploy to become the US’ top regional partner. Poland is under even more pressure than both of its 3SI allies combined since it must confront the intensifying US-German Hybrid War against its ruling conservative-nationalist party. Warsaw is in no position to continue waging a US-backed proxy war against Belarus, especially since Washington is waging its own against Warsaw right now.

The 3SI-driven perpetuation of the US-backed Hybrid War on Belarus is a waste of time and money for the three vanguard states involved. They’re now paying unexpected costs along their border and in terms of the associated social instability that their failure to deal with this regional migration crisis might entail. Protasevich’s admission that the coup against Lukahsnko failed should be the final nail in the coffin of that regime change campaign. Keeping it going only drains those three 3SI states of resources that would be better invested at home during these increasingly unstable times. In particular, it distracts the Polish security services from dealing with the more urgent task of thwarting the US-German Hybrid War. Gray Cardinal Kaczynski should have hopefully realized by now that fighting this proxy war won’t protect Poland from the US’ latest plots against it.

The best-case scenario is that Poland pragmatically accepts Belarus’ olive branch even if it doesn’t publicly make too much of a fuss about it for “face-saving” reasons. That would take the wind out of Latvia’s and Lithuania’s regime change sails and encourage them to follow suit. They still might not do so though if they’ve riskily gambled that their subjectively defined national interests are best advanced by continuing that campaign at the US’ behest, but Poland’s increasingly less prominent participation in it, if not eventual abandonment of its “active measures”, would greatly neutralize its effectiveness. What’s most important is that aspiring regional hegemon Poland reconsiders its policies in this respect. Even piecemeal progress on this front could have a positive effect on the region and bolster Poland’s defenses against the US-German Hybrid War at home.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Three Seas Initiative, US, Russia, Germany, Illegal Immigration, Hybrid War, Color Revolution, Regime Change.


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Poland’s continues quest to delay the start of Nord Stream 2 | Source: New Europe

Polish state-owned gas company PGNiG said it expects to be granted participation in certification proceedings concerning the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany bypassing Ukraine. Poland and its 100% state-owned company PGNiG have a history of trying to complicate the development and utilisation of Russian transit-diversification gas export infrastructure such as Nord Stream 2.

Source: New Europe


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The US-German Hybrid War Against Poland Is Intensifying

The US-German Hybrid War Against Poland Is Intensifying

26 JULY 2021

The US-German Hybrid War Against Poland Is Intensifying

Poland has come under intensified Hybrid War attack by the US and Germany after its hoped-for Baltic Pipe’s construction has been delayed by their Danish ally, the influential Washington Post published a scathing editorial imploring American decision makers to push back against Poland’s plans to regain control of a US-owned anti-government broadcaster, and it became official that the US and Germany cut a deal with Russia over Nord Stream II.

The geostrategic situation is going from bad to worse for Poland after it came under intensified Hybrid War attack by the US and Germany at the end of July. I already chronicled the reasons for its increasingly disadvantageous position in a recent piece here which lists eight of my other relevant works on this subject. They all boil down to Poland remaining blind to the rapidly changing regional reality whereby the US and Russia are actively negotiating a so-called “non-aggression pact” which will occur at the expense of Warsaw’s national interests as it understands them to be. Germany is party to this process and hopes to take advantage of it to submit Poland to its envisioned continental hegemony. All three Great Powers are also opposed to the Warsaw-led “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) that the former Trump Administration enthusiastically supported as a pivotal balancing force in European affairs but which the Biden one regards as geopolitically obstructive to its goals.

What recently happened is that Poland’s hoped-for Baltic Pipe’s construction was delayed by the US’ and Germany’s Danish ally. This powerfully impacts on the country’s energy security policy and will therefore compel it to continue relying on cheaper but more “politically sensitive” (from the perspective of the Polish leadership) Russian supplies. Just prior to that, the influential Washington Post published a scathing editorial imploring American decision makers to push back against Poland’s plans to regain control of a US-owned anti-government broadcaster that’s been stirring Colo Revolution unrest in the country. They ominously concluded their article by writing that “The United States must use all the leverage it can muster to ensure that independent television news in the country survives.” Finally, it became official that the US and Germany cut a deal with Russia over Nord Stream II, which Poland regards as being at the expense of its national interests.

Astute students of history might rightly compare this to the infamous “Western Betrayal” of the past century, though the consequences have yet to be as geopolitically dramatic as back then. Nevertheless, Poland is obviously at risk of losing its hard-earned sovereignty if the joint US-German Color Revolution succeeds, the country returns to being Berlin’s vassal, and the government is compelled by circumstances to finally re-engage with Russia but as a junior partner instead of the equal one that it deserves to be. There would be no need to partition Poland again since it’s now an almost entirely “ethnically pure” state apart from the growing mass of Ukrainian migrants in recent years and all foreign influence (American, German, and Russian) in the country could be managed through Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) if it returns to power. Poland used to be the subject of regional geopolitics during the Trump years, but it’s now returning to being an object under Biden.

The tragedy is that all of this was avoidable and so obvious since the start of the year. The moment that Biden’s liberal-globalist forces entered the White House, Poland’s conservative-nationalist government should have known that the German Hybrid War against them would be intensified due to Washington’s and Berlin’s shared ideological visions that contradict Warsaw’s own. The ruling Law & Justice Party (PiS) should have also immediately entered into secret talks with Russia upon learning through the media earlier this year that Biden planned to meet with Putin. Poland and Russia could have begun negotiating their own “non-aggression pact” in Belarus & Ukraine in order to boost one another’s strategic negotiating leverage vis-a-vis the US, which could have also prevented Poland from being forced to respond to whatever the US, Russia, and Germany agreed to behind its back like ultimately happened.

It’s still not too late for Poland to do this, though its own negotiating position is greatly diminished now that the Baltic Pipe has been unexpectedly delayed by the US’ and Germany’s Danish ally (likely as part of the larger US-Russian “non-aggression pact”). Russia is also keenly aware of how increasingly desperate Poland is becoming in the strategic sense so the Kremlin might demand more concessions from Warsaw when it comes to the Central European leader’s envisioned “sphere of influence” over their shared Belarusian and Ukrainian borderlands than if they began such negotiations a few months back for example. One possible way to improve its leverage in this respect would be if Poland simultaneously reached out to China as a balancing force against the US just like neighboring Ukraine recently did, became an equally important economic bridge between East and West, and then used this newfound geo-economic role to entice Russia to give it a more “balanced” deal.

Whatever it ends up doing, it’s obvious that PiS must do something to relieve the joint US-German pressure upon it and then refocus its efforts on thwarting their plans to neutralize Poland’s sovereignty. Just like fellow NATO ally Turkey pragmatically turned East in the face of unprecedented pressure from the West a few years back in order to survive the regime change onslaught against it at the time, so too must Poland do the same lest it risk irreversibly losing everything. It might be very difficult for PiS to understand for “politically correct” reasons, but its American patron just backstabbed it and sold Poland out to Germany. The end is certainly nigh unless Poland prioritizes an urgent Eastern Pivot towards Russia and China in order to safeguard its sovereignty and bolster its “Democratic Security” capabilities for fending off the joint US-German Hybrid War. If PiS fails to do so, then Poland will be forced to submit to German hegemony, from which it’ll never escape.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Germany, Poland, Regime Change, Color Revolution, Hybrid War, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, China, Three Seas Initiative.


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Polish-US Missile Defense Co-Op Is A Strategic Smokescreen

Polish-US Missile Defense Co-Op Is A Strategic Smokescreen

24 JUNE 2021

Polish-US Missile Defense Co-Op Is A Strategic Smokescreen

The prevailing uncertainty about the future of Polish-US relations following Biden’s publicly expressed desire to improve relations with Russia won’t affect their military cooperation as proven by the latest progress made in deploying elements of America’s “missile defense shield” in this aspiring Central & Eastern European hegemon, but this development will likely also be exploited as a smokescreen to obscure the ongoing joint US-German Hybrid War against Poland’s conservative-nationalist government.

The US’ Missile Defense Agency announced earlier this week that it’s begun deploying elements of its “missile defense shield” (MDS) in Poland, the aspiring hegemon of the Central & Eastern European (CEE) space. This decision predated Biden’s publicly expressed desire last week during his Geneva Summit with President Putin to repair relations with Russia, a move that unexpectedly threw the future of Polish-American relations into uncertainty. I elaborated on the emerging differences of grand strategic vision between these allied nations in an analysis last week that also explored their possible consequences. This latest development shows that their ties will remain stable at the military level despite very serious political disagreements.

While the present liberal-globalist American administration doesn’t like the Polish conservative-nationalist one all that much, the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) are in agreement that the CEE country’s geostrategic locations means that their MDS cooperation mustn’t be sacrificed because of it, let alone as part of an incipient rapprochement with Russia. A few clarifying points must be mentioned at this time in order for the reader to better understand the US’ strategic calculus. Improving relations with Russia will enable the US to redeploy some of its CEE forces to the Asia-Pacific in an attempt to more aggressively “contain” China there as well as spark an Asian arms race to assist with that.

Upon the MDS’ complete deployment in Poland, the US will be able to militarily “contain” Russia a lot more effectively without having to rely on the same number of troops as before. Furthermore, this system will help to partially reassure the Poles that their paranoid fears of being “sold out” to Moscow aren’t justified, which might in turn prevent or at the very least decelerate Poland’s possible pivot to China in response that I proposed in the analysis cited in the first paragraph of this present piece. To be clear, however, Russia doesn’t even need to be “contained” since it harbors no aggressive intentions against its neighbors, but this false notion has been weaponized in order to exploit the CEE countries’ “negative nationalism” against it for pro-American purposes.

In fact, the very concept of a MDS is deceitful since it doesn’t aim to “protect” the US and its allies, but to undercut Russia’s nuclear second-strike capabilities and therefore advance America’s devious plans to possibly one day place the Eurasian Great Power in a position of nuclear blackmail. The two-decade-long unofficial arms race between these two that was sparked by Bush Jr.’s decision to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty prompted Russia to double down on its hypersonic missile research and development, thus recently resulting in Moscow achieving global dominance in this field. It didn’t aspire to this envious position for aggressive purposes, but solely to defend itself from the above-mentioned scenario of nuclear blackmail.

Nevertheless, the Poles don’t see it that way at all because the US (and also Germany to a large extent) have masterfully manipulated their “negative nationalism” in such a way that many of these people and especially their present leadership are almost pathologically obsessed at this point with “containing” Russia. They take the MDS’ officially stated purpose at face value and might even delight in provoking Russia despite how dangerous this could be for them in the worst-case scenario of a US/NATO-Russia war. This latest MDS development will therefore likely succeed in reassuring them of the US’ military support in the event that Poland’s extremely improbable fear of a so-called “Russian invasion” ever comes to pass.

At the same time, however, the US and Germany will probably continue to undermine the present Polish government for ideological reasons related to their liberal-globalist vision. This schizophrenic policy of militarily supporting it while politically subverting it should be obvious to all objective observers but is regrettably lost on most Poles due to their intense “negative nationalism” against Russia. Their leadership also appears to naively believe that the MDS’ deployment on their territory might also politically shield them from the ongoing US-German Hybrid War, though this is nothing but a groundless wishful thinking fallacy. The reality is that Poland is being played by its so-called “allies” much worse than it could have ever imagined that Russia would play it.

The MDS therefore serves several purposes: it enables the US to more effectively “contain” Russia; thus freeing it up to redeploy some of its CEE forces to the Asia-Pacific to more aggressively “contain” China; and it functions as a smokescreen to obscure Washington and Berlin’s ongoing Hybrid War against Poland’s conservative-nationalist government by superficially reassuring them of the US’ supposedly “positive” strategic intentions. Regardless of the government in power, US-Polish military relations will remain strong even if solely as a result of their MDS cooperation, though this won’t stop the joint Washington-German Hybrid War on Warsaw. Naively believing otherwise will only result in getting Poland to put its strategic guard down even more.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: US, Poland, Missile Shield, Arms Race, Russia, China, New Detente, New Cold War, Germany, Color Revolution, Regime Change, Hybrid War.


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How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

15 JUNE 2021

How Serious Are Poland

Few could have expected that one of America’s top allies anywhere in the world would so seriously disagree with its patron, but that’s exactly what happened after Polish officials publicly expressed deep concern over the US’ recent recalibration of relations with Russia, prompting observers to wonder exactly how far everything will go and towards what ultimate ends.

Poland is widely regarded as one of America’s top allies anywhere in the world and with good reason considering that it’s marched in lockstep with its patron ever since the end of communism in 1989 with only a single exception. That was the Obama-era “Reset” with Russia, which Poland regarded as a betrayal of its national security interests even though that policy eventually failed. History is once again repeating itself, however, after Polish officials publicly expressed deep concern over the Biden Administration’s recent recalibration of relations with Russia which some fear might be even more disastrous for their country’s national security than Obama’s plans to change the nature of the US’ missile defense shield in this geostrategically positioned Central & Eastern European (CEE) country.

Poland was surprised by the Biden Administration’s decision to waive most Nord Stream II sanctions last month, with different officials describing this move as a “threat” to energy security and even a “gas bomb placed under European integration”. Prime Minister Morawiecki very loudly condemned what he called the US’ “180-degree change of policy” towards Russia in an exclusive interview that he recently gave to Newsweek, which was followed by his Foreign Minister expressing deep “regret” over Biden’s refusal to meet with CEE leaders ahead of his summit with President Putin. The end result is that Poland is presently in a very serious geostrategic predicament after proverbially putting all of its eggs into the basket of Trump’s re-election. This was the culmination of a series of counterproductive policy calculations that I elaborated upon earlier in the month.

In summary, Poland’s practically pathological expression of “negative nationalism” vis-a-vis Russia was responsible for it obsessively doing everything in its power to undermine its Great Power neighbor in the contested “sphere of influence” between them in Belarus and Ukraine ever since 2013. This absolutely ruined relations with Russia and therefore made it impossible for Poland to take advantage of the opportunity to “balance” between East and West in pursuit of better deals from both of its neighbors. Instead, it eagerly submitted itself to the US’ regional strategic designs, only to have Biden pull the rug out from under its leaders’ feet in recent weeks as America once again pursued its own interests at Poland’s expense. I forecast the larger consequences of this for Eurasia in my latest analysis for the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).

It also deserves mentioning that the Polish leadership’s conservative-nationalist worldview is the ideological opposite of the present American’s liberal-globalist one, a point that was further emphasized in Morawiecki’s interview where he envisioned a “Europe of homelands” instead of the “United States of Europe” that the US is nowadays more in favor of. Although this prompted an RT contributor to wonder whether a “Polexit” might be in the cards sometime later this decade if the ideological contradiction between Warsaw and EU-leader Berlin isn’t resolved soon enough, it’s highly unlikely that anything of the sort will ever transpire because the CEE leader immensely benefits from the bloc’s free movement of goods, services, and people. Rather, it’s much more likely that Poland might seek to turn its “Three Seas Initiative” into less of a complement to the European project like Morawiecki told Newsweek that it is and more of an intra-organizational ideological competitor.

It’s too early to say whether that’ll happen, but it’s already undeniable that Poland has suddenly become much more isolated on the European stage due both to its deliberately counterproductive policies towards Russia as well as the bloc’s leading members like Germany supporting the US’ pragmatic recalibration of relations with Moscow. Morawiecki also mentioned in his earlier cited interview that while he’s concerned about some of China’s growing influence, he nevertheless “believe(s) that competition is good and some competition coming from China—not the sort that is subsidized or where there is price dumping or industrial output via slave labor, but outside those abuses, competition is not bad for us. And we are open for the Chinese investments strengthening our intelligence competitive capacities and our abilities to defend vis-à-vis their attacks.” This suggests a possible economic pivot towards China if relations with the US can’t be repaired.

That said, the US probably isn’t going to ever abandon Poland and thus open up the possibility of it economically pivoting towards the People’s Republic. Biden will probably retain his country’s recently bolstered military presence in Poland or at the very least ensure that some robust NATO presence remains in order to symbolically reassure its leadership that the US hasn’t “sold it out to Russia” like they increasingly fear. At the same time, however, American pressure on Poland might increase, including through more covert US support for the German Hybrid War on Poland that’s seen Berlin back a rolling Color Revolution over the past few years which aims to replace its target’s conservative-nationalist government with liberal-globalist puppets.

With any improvement of relations with Russia being politically impossible especially in light of recent so-called “spy scandals” (one of which is arguably paranoid persecution of a genuine human rights activist), the only realistic policy option for Poland in the event of worsening ties with America (or at the very least growing mistrust and associated suspicion of its “ally’s” grand strategic motives vis-a-vis Russia) is to focus on accelerating the comprehensive expansion of ties with China. Poland is already China’s top partner in CEE by virtue of its enormous population, strong economy, and geostrategic position, so it wouldn’t be difficult in principle for Warsaw to strategically partner with Beijing if the political will is present.

It should also be remembered that China is pioneering a high-speed railway from the Hungarian capital of Budapest to the Greek port of Pireaus which could even expand as far northwards as Warsaw and Helsinki by the end of the decade so the People’s Republic certainly has an interest in cultivating more strategic partnerships in CEE, especially with Poland. If Poland already believes (whether rightly or wrongly) that the US “sold it out to Russia” and that Washington might even soon throw more of its covert weight behind Berlin’s ongoing Hybrid War, then Warsaw wouldn’t really have anything to lose by at the very least beginning to seriously explore this policy proposal.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Biden, Putin, New Cold War, Poland, US, Russia, China, Three Seas Initiative, 3SI, Belt & Road Initiative, BRI, Balancing.


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Poland’s Counterproductive Foreign Policy Is Responsible For Its Present Predicament

Poland’s Counterproductive Foreign Policy Is Responsible For Its Present Predicament

2 JUNE 2021

Poland

Poland’s counterproductive foreign policy of depending so much on former US President Trump’s re-election, ruining relations with Russia, and openly opposing Moscow’s Nord Stream II gas pipeline with Germany are responsible for its present predicament wherein the leading Central European country now finds itself in an extremely disadvantageous geopolitical position.

No country is more upset than Poland is at US President Biden for passively allowing the Nord Stream II gas pipeline to finish construction with only the most superficial of sanctions. Its representatives have described the project as both a threat to energy security and also most recently “a gas bomb placed under European integration” due to Warsaw’s belief that Moscow will capriciously cut off the tap to its Western customers. The Eurasian Great Power would never do such a thing since it’s arguably just as dependent on its customers as they are on Russia, if not more considering its disproportionate budgetary dependence on such energy sales, which Poland is well aware of.

What worries Warsaw the most, however, is that Moscow and Berlin might “collude” with one another to jointly “manage” the geostrategic Central & Eastern European (CEE) space across which Poland envisions itself becoming the regional leader through the “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) that it leads as well as that structure’s “Lublin Triangle” core. Poland had hitherto based almost the entirety of its recent foreign policy on former US President Trump’s re-election due to his desire to stop Nord Stream II in order to compel Europe to purchase more expensive US LNG. It also appreciated his support of the 3SI, which irked Germany because Berlin is adamantly against Poland flexing its geopolitical muscles in CEE.

In pursuit of its goal to stop Poland from regaining its historical regional hegemonic status and perhaps even expanding it beyond its prior “sphere of influence”, Germany has been waging an ongoing Hybrid War on Poland intended to overthrow its conservative-nationalist government. The Biden Administration also seems unsupportive of Poland’s current authorities at the very least, if not silently hostile even if only for simple ideological reasons. Nevertheless, both Germany and the US appreciate Poland for playing a leading role in the West’s Hybrid War on neighboring Belarus, which advances very important anti-Russian foreign policy goals. Warsaw isn’t just doing this to please them, but as part of its hegemonic ambitions through the 3SI.

The problem for Poland is that it already burned all of its bridges with Russia so it’s incapable of realistically balancing with Moscow against an increasingly hostile Berlin and perhaps soon even an equally hostile Washington, the latter two of which behave as “frenemies” by being “cordial” for the most part in public but extremely pernicious behind the scenes. Germany’s Hybrid War on Poland through its support of the liberal-globalist Color Revolution opposition pairs perfectly with what Poland regards as the US’ so-called “betrayal” through Nord Stream II and Warsaw’s suspicions of Washington’s grand strategic motives ahead of the upcoming Putin-Biden Summit to put Poland in a very disadvantageous position.

The country’s “negative nationalism”, which builds a large part of its contemporary nationalism solely around its differences (whether real, imagined, or exaggerated) with Russia, blinded it to the strategic shortcomings of its prior policies and resulted in Poland counterproductively burning its bridges with Moscow with passion. Poland recently enhanced its military cooperation with Turkey through a combat drone deal which might in the future provide some pragmatic balancing options considering Ankara’s problems with both Berlin and Washington, but the West Asian country could never repair Warsaw’s balancing act like a rapprochement with Moscow could. That latter option is unlikely though for the earlier mentioned reasons, but it remains the most optimal.

Should Poland ever be able to muster up the political will to stop meddling in Russia’s “Near Abroad” (Belarus & Ukraine), then a breakthrough might in theory be achieved, but this is regrettably unrealistic to expect from the country since it’s convinced itself that its national security is dependent on countering Russian-friendly forces in those two neighboring nations between them. Poland as a state is simply too psychologically traumatized by its history with Russia to ever trust Moscow’s strategic intentions, which was exploited by Germany and the US in order to take advantage of this leading CEE country without its leaders even realizing it until it was too late. This leads to the worst-case scenario from its perspective.

Poland now might have to confront the prospect of being compelled by circumstances to pragmatically deal with Russia if Biden makes progress on advancing a so-called “New Detente” during his upcoming summit with President Putin. Moscow would hold more cards in this case than Warsaw could since the latter couldn’t rely as much on Berlin or Washington to support its regionally destabilizing Russophobic foreign policy to the same extent as before considering the perceived consequences of Nord Stream II’s impending completion. At the same time though, Germany and the US might continue pushing Poland to meddle in Russia’s “Near Abroad”, hoping that if anything goes wrong, then Warsaw can just take the fall for it instead of them.

To put it bluntly, Poland is damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t, and this dilemma vexes its strategists. They riskily bet everything on former US President Trump’s re-election, only to have their entire grand strategy suddenly sabotaged by Biden. They’re too deep into their regional Russophobic destabilization operations in Belarus and Ukraine to pull back now, at least without “losing face” among their people, yet even a pragmatic recalibration of their politics could be seen by their citizens as having been done under so-called “geopolitical duress”, which might reduce the ruling party’s domestic support among certain nationalist forces. Although the ruling party is still pretty popular, its coalition might crack in the future under such foreign pressures.

These considerations make it very difficult to suggest the optimal course of action for Poland since there might be some heavy costs for it either way. All told, though, it would objectively be best if Poland began exploring the options for an incipient rapprochement with Russia even if only for pragmatism’s sake, perhaps seeking solely to agree to so-called “rules of engagement” for “managing” their competition in Belarus and Ukraine. In any case, Poland should seriously consider taking the initiative in independently engaging Russia without Germany or the US’ approval since neither of those two sought Poland’s in doing what they recently did. If Poland aspires for regional leadership, then it’s about time that it starts acting more like a leader and less like a follower.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Poland, Germany, Russia, US, Nord Stream II, Balancing, Three Seas Initiative, 3SI, Lublin Triangle.


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Turkey’s Military Engagement With The Lublin Triangle Aims To Balance Russia

Turkey’s Military Engagement With The Lublin Triangle Aims To Balance Russia

27 MAY 2021

Turkey

Poland’s agreement to purchase Turkish attack drones speaks to Ankara’s desire to enhance military engagement with the Warsaw-led “Lublin Triangle” in order to balance Russia’s recent geostrategic gains in the Black and Mediterranean Sea regions that the West Asian country might have suspiciously considered to be an unstated attempt by Moscow to contain it.

Russian-Turkish relations are incredibly complex, but can nowadays be characterized as a “friendly competition” between historic rivals whose leaders ultimately decided to responsibly regulate this dynamic for the sake of stability within their overlapping “spheres of influence”. I explained this more at length in an analysis that I wrote for Azerbaijan’s Axar in early April asking “Will Turkey’s Partnership With Ukraine Worsen Its Relations With Russia?” Generally speaking, this model of “friendly competition” is sustainable, though only so long as neither side does anything to decisively upset the military balance between the other and any of their rivals. That’s why Russia is so concerned about Turkey’s sale of combat drones to Ukraine since these could shift the military dynamics in Donbass. Foreign Minister Lavrov also warned Turkey against “fueling Kiev’s militaristic sentiment” earlier this week, but it’s Turkish-Polish military cooperation that might be much more dangerous.

Polish President Duda agreed to purchase 24 Turkish attack drones during his latest trip to the country in Ankara’s first such sale to an EU or NATO state. What’s so disturbing about this development is that Poland previously lost the war games that it staged earlier this year related to a speculative conflict with Russia, one in which neighboring Kaliningrad would play a major role for both sides. In that scenario, Russia would either attack Poland from that region or be attacked by Poland there. Either way, the point is that Kaliningrad is in Poland’s military crosshairs and represents the only realistic target for the Central European country’s new Turkish drones other than Belarus, the latter of which is part of the Russian-led CSTO mutual defense pact so any Polish attack against it could in theory be treated as an attack against Russia itself. Considering the intensity of Poland’s “negative nationalism” vis-a-vis Russia, a drone attack against either can’t be discounted.

It’s one thing for the US to bolster its Polish regional proxy’s offensive military capabilities and another for Turkey to do the same, especially considering the sensitive nature of contemporary Russian-Turkish relations and associated need to not disrupt the fragile balance between them. By selling drones to both Ukraine and Poland, Turkey is essentially enhancing its military engagement with the Polish-led “Lublin Triangle” which aims to “contain” Russian influence in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) both at Poland’s independent prerogative but also America’s indirect behest. Poland aspires for regional hegemonic status through this platform, the core of the “Three Seas Initiative”, which could also help it reduce Germany’s influence in this strategic space as an asymmetrical response to its neighbor’s ongoing Hybrid War against it and especially against the backdrop of the US pragmatically allowing the Nord Stream II pipeline that Warsaw is so suspicious of to be completed.

It’s unclear exactly why Turkey would so provocatively bolster the Lublin Triangle’s military capabilities through attack drone sales to both the bloc’s Polish leader and its Ukrainian partner, but it might be the case that Ankara believes that this is a symmetrical response of sorts to recent Russian geostrategic gains in the Black and Mediterranean Seas that the West Asian country might have suspiciously considered to be an unstated attempt by Moscow to contain it. To explain, Russia’s victory in the 2008 peace enforcement operation against Georgia secured Abkhazia within its “sphere of influence”, while Crimea’s 2014 democratic reunification with Russia further expanded Moscow’s influence in the Black Sea that it shares with Turkey. On the southern front, Russia’s decisive 2015 anti-terrorist intervention in Syria placed the country’s military forces squarely within Turkey’s soft underbelly.

Although Russia has no intention whatsoever to attack Turkey, both due to their leaders’ pragmatic agreement to regulate their “friendly competition” within their overlapping “spheres of influence” and also to avoid an apocalyptic World War III scenario with NATO, Ankara might have nevertheless feared such a scenario no matter how unlikely it is in reality. This might especially have been the case ever since the agreement to deploy Russian peacekeepers to part of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region as part of last November’s Moscow-mediated ceasefire between that country and Armenia. Although Turkish troops are there too, this still might not have dampened suspicious of the containment scenario. In response, Turkey might have thought it necessary to enhance its military engagement with the Polish-led Lublin Triangle, ergo its drone sales to Ukraine and most recently Poland.

What’s so concerning about these possible calculations is that Russia probably hadn’t ever thought that CEE would become a theater of “friendly competition” with Turkey. Unlike Turkish moves in the South Caucasus (Azerbaijan), Levant (Syria), and North Africa (Libya), its attack drone sales to those two Lublin Triangle states directly affect Russia’s national security. By contrast, Russian moves in the South Caucasus (Abkhazia and Azerbaijan’s Karabakh), Black Sea (Crimea), and Levant (Syria) don’t pose any such threat to Turkey’s national security since Moscow remains in full control of its forces there and isn’t building up its partners’ military capabilities as anti-Turkish proxies. With these observations in mind, Russia might need to review the nature of its “friendly competition” with Turkey, perhaps even as high as the leadership level due to the fact that the very close ties between their Presidents is largely responsible for managing these dynamics.

Some frank discussions between their leaders could be forthcoming if Russia believes that Turkey’s attack drone sales to those Lublin Triangle states could adversely affect the military balance between it and those two recipient countries. Turkey must clarify the reasons behind its enhanced military engagement with this unquestionably anti-Russian bloc that’s forming before Moscow’s eyes right on its very borders. It would still be concerning if Turkey is just doing it for the sake of business, but even worse if it’s for some larger strategic purpose. In either case, the move can be interpreted as unfriendly but perhaps also as a sly means for Turkey to restore the balance between it and Russia if some of its decision makers (whether rightly or wrongly) regard it as having recently tilted in Moscow’s favor, especially after last year’s peacekeeper deployment in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh. Regardless of its ultimate intent, the situation must be clarified soon in order to preserve their pragmatic ties.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, Drones, Lublin Triangle, Three Seas Initiative, 3SI, US, Russia, Balancing.


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