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It’s All About Russia, Stupid

Roger Boyes writes in the Times about how the Smolensk airliner crash will open a new phase in Polish-Russian relations.  I think the jury’s still out on that one, and that such expectations are much to high for the current leadership in Moscow to meet, but does make a good point about Russia taking over a central role in European foreign policy.

But all this has a knock-on effect throughout Europe. In Warsaw they say: Poland can do much with Germany, but nothing at all against Germany. Poles-Germans-Russians; that is the axis that will shape the next decade in Europe. The US, which under George W. Bush counted Poland as the standard-bearer for a New Atlanticist Europe, is happy with the idea of Europeanised Russia but unsure about what to make of Poland as a big EU player. France no longer seems to have a coherent policy towards Eastern Europe. And a Cameroonian Britain, judging by Conservative coalition-building in the European Parliament, seems set to miss the point. For the next few years, European policy is All About Russia, Stupid.