Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov
Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski leaves office today.
Andrzej Duda, who defeated him in the recent presidential elections, officially becomes the new president of Poland. However, another news item has been overlooked in Ukrainian mass media — the actual departure from high politics of the former minister of foreign affairs and the speaker of the Polish Sejm, Radoslaw Sikorski. The politician, who was popular at one time, has refused to participate in future parliamentary elections. This represents an obvious pause in his career, no matter how that career evolves in the future.
These are the two people in the Polish establishment that have been most actively involved in Ukrainian affairs. Komorovsky assumed the entire burden of the dialogue with Yanukovych. Even when the other Western leaders did not understand what there was to discuss with the former Ukrainian president, Komorovsky tried to convince Yanukovych of the need to reach a compromise with the civilized world. Sikorski was a participant in the negotiating process practically until the last day of Yanukovych’s presidency. He arrived in Kyiv when the president’s team had already decided to destroy Maidan. The mission of the three EU foreign affairs ministers (Germany, Poland, France — Ed.) became, perhaps, the only restraining factor for Yanukovych and contributed to his collapse.
Both Komorowski and Sikorski worked with Ukraine under the extreme conditions of dictatorship and the establishment of a new government. The new generation of Polish politicians will have an entirely different attitude toward the country. And it is not a question of indifference; it has to do with relief that the main danger for Poland no longer exists. Ukraine is no longer viewed as a potential Russian satellite — something that has always terrified Poland. However, we must also consider that Ukraine is not viewed as a country that has managed to stabilize its economy and achieve irreversible political change. The new president of Poland and the new government, which will almost certainly appear after the parliamentary elections, will absolutely need to help Ukraine achieve this irreversibility.