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A long legacy of hatred
Poland and Russia are warming up... Don’t be fooled!

When the Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash occurred, killing all on board including Polish President Lech Kaczynski on board, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev himself flew down to attend the President’s funeral. Poland accepted Russia’s sympathy and affection. The countries released a joint declaration too. Interestingly, Poland imports 90% of oil and 60% of gas from Russia (or is allowed to import by Russia). Are Russia and Poland, for the lack of a better word, chumming up and – as global think tanks now purport – bringing in the long absent eastern front against the West?

The truth is numbingly far from that. Russia and Poland have had no love lost for each other, and irrespective of the current moves, will not in the distant future either. Russia and Poland have fought several wars against each other. The Polish victory at Warsaw against Russia in 1918 spoiled Lenin’s plan to spread communism across Europe. That formally made them enemies. Later, the Polish alliance with the Nazis gave the Soviet Union all the more reason to attack. Polish ambitions to join NATO and EU and pursue independent diplomatic relations with the world and with post-Soviet states has also antagonized Russia as did Poland’s support to Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.

Also, regular acrimonious combatting on issues like the destruction of Polish Republic in 1939 and the Katyn massacre of 20,000 Polish officers by Russia cannot be forgotten for a long time. Neither would the fact that Poland first took Georgia’s side during the South Ossetia war. Worse, Poland’s bilateral agreement to install a US missile defence shield in Poland has prompted Russia to declare it as Russia’s next military target. In 2009, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski even asked US to deploy more troops in Poland to fight any Russian invasion. Friends? Oh please, take a walk...

By:- Akram Hoque

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