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Monday, April 10, 2023

April 10, 2023

Poland no longer hides its expansionist plans. In a recent meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced his personal wish that soon both countries will no longer have physical borders. The message echoes a possible confederation project in Eastern Europe, which according to the most pro-Western optimistic analysts will be successful after Kiev eventually joins the EU and NATO. However, from a realistic point of view, this plan only reveals a Polish intention to annex some regions in Ukraine.

On April 5, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky made his first state trip to Poland since the beginning of the Russian special military operation. While there are many reports that Zelensky spent much of the conflict time hiding in bunkers on the Polish side of the border, this is his first official visit to the allied country, where he has already been lauded as a hero by the anti-Russian local government. On the occasion, talks of strategic content and promises of mutual support were held, as well as the announcement of some bilateral agreements, reinforcing the friendship between both countries, which currently share anti-Russian hate as a state ideology.

One of the most interesting points was a speech by President Duda after the meeting, in which he stated that he believes that in the near future there will be no more borders between Ukraine and Poland. He said that after the end of the conflict Kiev will gain membership in the European Union and both countries will become fully integrated, finally being able to promote the free movement of people and goods. He stated that when that happens, people will only be able to tell if they are in Ukraine or Poland by looking at the buildings that will be "located [...] where border checks used to take place".

"I hope there would be no physical border between Poland and Ukraine after the end of the war. Especially when Ukraine becomes a part of the European Union. So that ordinary people, while traveling from Ukraine to Poland, would not know at all where that border used to be and would recognize it only by the buildings located somewhere in the distance, where border checks used to take place (...) [I have] no doubt that, in fact, it would be so", he said during a recent Polish-Ukrainian Economic Forum in Warsaw.

At first, Dudas' words may sound like a kind of "anti-Russian utopia", with some of the most pro-NATO eastern European states uniting in an absolute way, reaching the level of overcoming the existence of physical borders. However, there seems to be much more than Duda's mere personal “desire" in this speech, considering that Poland has clear expansionist interests in Ukraine.

There are many regions in western Ukraine where the population has greater ethnic and cultural links to Poland than to Kiev. The city of Lviv is the greatest example of this ethno-cultural integration that prevails in the border region. Despite being racist, the Kiev regime maintains good relations with the Poles, contrary to what it does with other peoples who live in its territory - such as the Russians of Donbass and the Hungarians of Transcarpathia. Being Kiev and Warsaw very close allies, the Ukrainian neo-Nazi regime is concerned about not harming bilateral ties.

This, however, does not prevent the Polish government from discussing the possibility of expanding its borders into Ukrainian territory. With no humanitarian arguments to justify an expansion, Warsaw bets on the allegation of the need to control a security crisis. At various times since February 2022, rumors and intelligence reports have emerged pointing to a Polish interest in sending "peacekeeping" troops to Lviv and nearby regions. The objective would be to prevent the conflict, currently concentrated on the Russian borders, from expanding on a large scale to cities close to Polish borders. Moscow has denounced on various occasions that the Polish plan would be to use this excuse to legitimize a process of military occupation and political annexation. With Duda's words, Russian predictions seem to be more and more accurate.

Currently, there is already a "de facto confederation" between Poland and Ukraine. The borders are open to the circulation of weapons, Western mercenaries, and Ukrainian troops, who are constantly being trained by NATO officers outside the conflict zone. Given Kiev's insistence on playing an anti-Russian proxy role, the fighting will certainly continue for a long time and will eventually result in the territorial fragmentation of Ukraine. Perhaps Poland is taking the moment to advance its plans, so its "goodwill" in allowing flow across the border may just be a way to facilitate a potential attempt at formal annexation.

This shows once again the high level of submission by Zelensky and his regime to NATO forces. The Ukrainian president uses the rhetoric of territorial defense against Russia when he openly meets with a foreign leader who talks about extinguishing the borders between Ukraine and Poland. Apparently, if a NATO country claims Ukrainian territories, there is no problem for Kiev's neo-Nazi regime. The same should apply to situations where the local people sovereignly voted for independence and reintegration with Russia.

As for the military impacts of these maneuvers, it remains to be seen how Warsaw will proceed with its strategies. Recently, the Hungarian government reported that NATO plans to send "peacekeeping" troops to Ukraine. If that really happens, the most expected thing is that Polish soldiers will be sent, given the geographical proximity. Moscow has made it clear that NATO "peacekeepers" would be considered legitimate targets by Russian forces. It is hoped that Poland and others in NATO will be aware of the dangers of such an scenario and avoid a further escalation.