Poland’s right sees an opportunity

Poland's right sees an opportunity

When the war unleashed by Russia should have “did something good” somewhere, then here: it has united Poles and Ukrainians, the two largest peoples living between Germany and Russia, like never before in a deeply felt community of destiny. It was in this spirit that Poland’s President spoke Andrzej Duda in May as the first foreign head of state since February before the parliament in Kyiv. He called it paradoxical that evil can also produce good. But the friendship experienced millions of times by the refugees from Ukraine in Poland, their most important destination country, “will mean that we will now be good neighbors forever”. This opportunity, this upheaval are “historic”. This is how other critical Warsaw commentators characterized Duda’s performance.

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania based in Warsaw.

Both the Pole and his host, Volodymyr Zelensky, emphasized that the two countries together number “more than 80 million” people. “We must not miss this opportunity” (Duda). The guest thanked the Ukrainians “for defending Europe against the invasion of barbarism and a new Russian imperialism” and bowed to the deputies. Poland and Ukrainians share a neighborhood that was often difficult or even bloody. Poland’s right, from which Duda descended, cultivated this memory. It was all the more important that Duda emphasized in Kyiv that “what unites should be prioritized over what divides”. That’s what the Polish Pope John Paul II said during his acclaimed visit to Ukraine in 1999.

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