Stanisław Karczewski, the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland (Photo:

Stanisław Karczewski, the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland (Photo: 

International, Opinion

Edited by: A. N.

Stanisław Karczewski, the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, has announced plans to convene a conference of representatives of Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Ukraine to discuss how to collectively respond to the decision to restore Russia to full membership in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

“This readiness for joint actions yet again demonstrates,” Ukrainian commentator Vitaly Portnikov says, “that against the collaborationism of ‘the collective West,’ it is both possible and necessary to struggle,” something many in Kyiv including Volodymyr Zelenskyy do not recognize.

Vitaly Portnikov, Ukrainian political analyst and writer

Vitaly Portnikov, Ukrainian political analyst and writer

As Portnikov writes in his article for ESPRESO, “the forces which want to normalize relations with Russia at the expense of Ukraine and international law have been trying to achieve this already for more than a year.” And often they have been prevented from doing so when their efforts are exposed in the media by those in Central and Eastern Europe who understand “the Russian threat.”

I had thought, the Ukrainian commentator continues, that after the Maidan, Ukraine didn’t need “advocates” anymore but rather “partners in opposing aggression.” But it turns out, Portnikov concedes, that his optimism on this point was premature.

“The political inexperience of the new Ukrainian president, the absence in his team of a genuine interest in foreign policy, and the irrational fear of the Kremlin,” he says, “make precisely such an advocate a necessity even now.”

Such advocates can better defend the interests of Ukraine in the international arena than the current Kyiv leadership.

This initiative from the marshal of the Polish Senate is thus “a very good signal.” It recalls the time when Warsaw “more effectively defended the interests of Ukraine than did Yanukovych himself who in general was not concerned about the interests of our country,” Portnikov says.

“In the present situation, the presidents of Poland or Lithuania also could more effectively defend the interests of Ukraine to the West, at least as long as the new president of Ukraine does not recognize the importance of such a defense and does not learn how to effectively do it.”

“Ukraine today, Portnikov concludes, “simply can’t get by without [such] advocates.”

The countries between the Baltic and the Black Sea and between Russia and Germany are sometimes called the Intermarium and have a tradition of cooperating with one another. (On that see Marek Chodakiewicz’s Intermarium: The Land between the Black and Baltic Seas (Transaction Publishers, 2012) and Intermarium – an idea whose time is coming again).

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Edited by: A. N.

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