“It is very difficult to break up the cooperation chain between Germany and Russia despite clear examples of Putin’s imperial and criminal policies and the corruption stemming from them,” said Witold Waszczykowski
April 28, 2021
The former Polish foreign minister and current Law and Justice (PiS) MEP, Witold Waszczykowski, said that Russia continuously violates international norms and participates in imperialist actions, but Germany will take no action due to its strong ties to Russia.
Waszczykowski spoke in context of the conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s engagement with it.
“Ukraine will not win a war with Russia through military means. This is why, in addition to ensuring defensive measures for the country, we should also spend time on supporting Ukraine politically,” he said in an interview for Polish Radio.
He explained that one of the methods of strengthening Ukraine politically would be the imposition of harmful sanctions on Russia and forcing Moscow to abandon its imperial policy and return the territories it has taken.
“Is this possible? Of course. There are no deficits to impacting Russia, there is only a deficit of will and determination on how to coerce Russia,” Waszczykowski said.
He pointed out that there already is an idea circling around the European Parliament to kick Russia out of the SWIFT financial system. Another solution could be the imposition of sanctions on political associates which directly support Putin and live off of his policies, such as Russian oligarchs and businesses.
The Polish MEP warned, however, that an obstacle in forming a united EU policy against Russia could be economic deals such as Nord Stream 2 and gas purchases.
“Only an effective breaking of the economic cooperation chain may force Russia to abandon its imperial policy. In the case of Germany, its perception of Russia does not involve the last few years, but the last two or even three centuries and goes as far back as Prussia. The interests of Germans and Russians are shared, and it is difficult to break this chain of cooperation. There are no statesmen there, only businessmen,” he said.
According to Waszczykowski, the United States’s policy concerning Russia was also inconsistent. He noted that the planned meeting between presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin would not solve the issue of Ukraine.
“On the one hand Biden believes that Putin is a murderer and is trying to impose sanctions. On the other, he is proposing a meeting in the old, Cold War style.”
The former Polish foreign minister stressed that it was unacceptable for the fate of Central-Eastern Europe to be decided like during the times of Leonid Breznhev and Ronald Reagan. He urged the US to not follow that path, because while bilateral meetings between leaders were permitted, they should not be allowed to decide the fate of the world as it had been in the past.
One of the advisors of the Russian president announced that Putin’s meeting with Biden is planned for June 2021.