Fronda.pl: President Petro Poroshenko said that he intends to hold a referendum on Ukraine’s accession to NATO. What’s the point, if the Alliance decides on the admission of new members?
Czarnecki Ryszard (Ryszard drew Mego): I think President Poroshenko has two objectives: on the foreign and domestic arena. At first he wants to show how much has changed in his country. If five to seven years ago, the part of the Ukrainians were against joining NATO, but now, after the formal Russian attack on the Crimea and the actual — in Eastern Ukraine, they clearly changed their minds. Now they want not only to join the European Union, but also to gain a closer relationship with the structures of the Western world, including to join NATO. It seems that on the background of a hybrid war, turning from time to time in the real war, the Ukrainians will speak in favour of joining the Alliance, and that will be the signal for the Western countries, which will strengthen the position of the supporters to accelerate Kiev’s European and Euro-Atlantic structures. As for the EU, I believe Ukraine will be a very long road that will take at least a couple of decades. In the fall of 2013, I said that Kiev will have to wait for the entry into the EU next 20-25 years. I think my assessment remains relevant. It is confirmed by calculations of the weekly Politico, which predicts that Ukraine will join the EU in 2035. However, he points out that the chances of this country to join the EU is 25%.
– What is the political goal, about which you have mentioned?
— We are talking about the escape from political and economic problems, the desire to distract attention from the complicated political situation and the rating fall. Of course, the fate of Poroshenko even is not predetermined, but is an important aspect. So I think that the political component also plays a big role. The President wants to appear before the Ukrainians in the image of the Creator of the idea of Ukraine joining NATO, not politics, which is inefficient in fighting corruption, and the government which loses support in Parliament.
– Is it, in your opinion, with the intensification of Pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine?
— Of course. President Poroshenko has chosen the perfect moment. Ukrainian society is outraged, and the West has received an alarm that Russia could advance to a new stage of implementation of their Imperial plans, that is, to decide to seize other Ukrainian territory. Western elites had to Wake up the Russian bear is hungry, and his growing appetite can threaten not only Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities have a good excuse to come up with a new idea. If you look objectively, the key role played by the political background, however, the idea is commendable, it should be encouraged. It could give Kiev a strong democratic legitimacy, the mandate for specific action in the context of NATO membership.
– Is there any risk that the statement Poroshenko will spur the appetite of the Russian bear, and bow to apply it in Ukraine a more powerful punch?
— Hope that if Ukraine will not constitute a danger, Putin forget about it, seems to me unfounded. So not going to happen. He remembers about those States who sit quietly and are afraid. Those who do not defend their own interests and not fighting for them, hoping that the bear will forget about them. Hungry bear does not forget. The Russians considered the only demonstration of power. Ukraine will be able to defend themselves from Moscow, only from the system of various alliances, or pretending to join them. It is pointless to pretend that Imperial neighbour does not exist, that will focus on Syria. It will, of course, to do it, because his appetites are high, but Ukraine he’ll deal with in the first place. The referendum is good news for Poland and poles because it means that the West will have to prove to Ukraine more interest. In the European Parliament in the last eighteen months, this interest fell. On the other hand, we are talking a historic moment: the European Parliament has decided to abolish visas for Georgian citizens. I say this because everything is in some way interrelated. Georgia and Ukraine are the countries that have signed the Association agreement with the EU at one and the same time. Two States eager to be part of the West. Georgia with the support of Poland and its President Lech Kaczynski (Lech Kaczyński) has declared its desire to join NATO much earlier, at the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008.
– What could make Poland to shorten the distance that separates Ukraine from NATO and the EU? How should we support the Ukrainians?
— When I answered in the Polish government for European Affairs, I went to the UK, which at that time presided over the EU. It was six and a half years before Poland’s accession to the European Union. My partner was the Minister of Douglas Henderson (Douglas Henderson). I asked him a question, he said the main problem of Poland in the negotiations with Europe. He answered that the size — the fact that Poland is a big country. The same applies to Ukraine. This is not a small Albania, Montenegro or Macedonia, which, analysts believe, has a chance to be in the EU in the short term: in the next ten years. They will not create a big economic burden. In turn, EU membership is a very poor country with 40 million inhabitants, a GDP per capita of the population and a huge agricultural sector which would support under the common agricultural policy of the EU, will be the European taxpayer a very heavy burden. The European elite will be to resist. The prospects for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union designed for a long term.
Of course, Poland is interested in how to support aspirations of Ukraine in this direction, to act as her attorney. At the same time, we should protect the memory of poles who died in the Ukrainian genocide. These people cannot be brought to the altar of the Polish-Ukrainian cooperation. The Ukrainian side needs to honor their memory. In turn, in political and geopolitical terms, Ukraine’s membership in NATO or the EU in our interests. Ukrainians sometimes call our irritation in the issues of historical politics or Economics, since Polish entrepreneurs do not like how they are treated in Kiev. I regret to say that in Ukraine there are more French or German than Polish companies. That has to change. But if to speak about long-term policies to promote Ukraine beneficial for us.
– Thank you for the interview.