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Poland-Germany Relations Key to E.U.-Russia Balance

tusk_merkel_putin120609.jpgA very interesting perspective from Judy Dempsey in the New York Times on the importance of Poland’s rapproachement with Germany, and how this would play into the European Union’s relations with Russia.  There is growing support behind a policy shift away from the Atlantic-oriented position toward a more activist role within the EU.  However many Poles with long memories are finding it difficult to trust Europe for their security from the threats of the Kremlin.

“If Poland and Germany established a much deeper relationship, it could break the E.U.’s logjam with Russia,” said Jacek Kucharczyk, director of the Institute of Public Affairs in Warsaw. “That could have far-reaching positive consequences for democratization among the E.U.’s eastern neighbors.”

A new relationship between Germany and Poland is crucial because these two countries have historically been so affected by Russia, usually through war. Over the centuries, Germany and Russia vied with each other to dominate Poland. But Germany and Russia also fought so bitterly during World War II to conquer each other. Even though Poland is now a member of NATO and the E.U., Germany is reunited and the Soviet Union no longer exists, this turbulent and complex triangular relationship continues to fester.