Britain has no business involving itself in Poland’s quarrels with Russia

Mathew Holehouse, in the Daily Telegraph of Monday 4th January, reported that Poland would consider dropping its opposition to David Cameron’s benefit restrictions on EU immigrants, if he, Cameron, supports Poland’s bid to permanently station NATO troops in Poland.  So much for Poland’s upholding “free movement” as a “fundamental, non-negotiable founding principle of the European Union” (which it joined only in 2004).

For Britain to even contemplate supporting such a move takes us straight back to 31st March 1939 when Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced in Parliament that he had given Poland a guarantee that Britain would “lend the Polish Government all the support in their power” in the event of any threat to Poland “which the Polish Government considered it vital to resist with their national forces”.

This fantastically foolish guarantee, which in effect left Poland to be the judge when British forces should be committed in its defence, propelled Britain (and a more reluctant France) straight into the Second World War against Germany, and then Italy and Japan.

In essence, Poland is now seeking the same guarantee with, this time, Russia as its potential enemy. Britain eventually redeemed its promise to Poland exactly 50 years after the original guarantee – in November 1989 – when, as a result of the USA’s and Britain’s upholding of freedom through NATO, the Iron Curtain between Eastern Europe and Western Europe finally came down,  the Soviet Union collapsed, and eight Eastern European countries, including Poland, were able to set up free electoral democracies.

Britain has no basic quarrel with Russia

Russian would see a move to station NATO troops in Poland as extremely provocative.

Although Britain actively resisted post-war Soviet expansion west of the boundaries agreed at the wartime conferences at Tehran (1943) and Yalta (1945) between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin – the British and American public remained extremely appreciative of the huge Soviet military sacrifices against the German armies (1941-45).

There is absolutely no call for Britain to agree to what in effect would be a new active defence line 500 miles further east of the old Soviet Iron Curtain, which disappeared in 1989. That there are active EU expansionists in Brussels is only too clear from the EU’s barely disguised attempts to pull the Ukraine into the EU.  This would, if achieved, bring the EU border to within 250 miles of Moscow, nullifying in Russian eyes all those sacrifices of 70 years ago, sacrifices which are commemorated on a vast scale in monuments all over Russia.

Watch Cameron like a Hawk

To avoid being involved in the EU’s Euro-Asian ambitions (including Turkey as well as Ukraine) is one more, very important, reason for Britain to leave that organisation. We can rely on it that Cameron would mortgage anything to save his wretched “negotiation” with the EU.

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One Response to “Britain has no business involving itself in Poland’s quarrels with Russia”

  1. Ageing Albion says:

    I agree the highest caution needs to be exercised here. As in 1939, we have been downgrading our armed forces for years and have a potential opponent who is doing the opposite. We might have more sophisticated equipment in theory but Mr Putin has a stronger hand on several counts. He has been rearming steadily and does not trouble himself with a vast welfare state or other spending considerations. Nor is he responsive to an electorate in the way Western governments are, or press freedom or an effective political opposition.

    Putin’s motivation appears twofold: (i) the restoration of Russia’s global standing, and (ii) the maintenance of his ruthless (undemocratic) hold on internal power. Needless to say he sees the two as inextricably linked. And he is not slow to see – and act upon – Western weakness and prevarication.

    Nowhere is this clearer than in Syria. Cameron and Obama first thought the Arab Spring would result in Scanadavia in the Middle East. Then they trumpeted that Assad had to go. Then they said there was a red line which he could not cross. When he did cross it, they did nothing. At that point, Western credibility in the region ceased. Finally the West realised that the alternative to Assad was not a human rights group but rather Isis, the sickening group of religious fanatics.

    By contrast, Putin said from the start that he would back Assad, and when Assad was on the brink Putin backed his statement up with hard power. He has also been using weapon systems (such as the supersonic ‘Backfire’ bomber) totally unnecessary for the type of conflict, but is clearly doing so to send a message to the West that his capability is on the ascendancy.

    Facing such an opponent, what Britain should do is define it’s own national interest. We could not stand by if Putin invaded Germany. But neither do we need to provoke him in any way. Our national interest is to secure our borders and maintain our energy supplies and lines of trade. Neither need involve provoking Russia. We should argue against any move such as placing troops near the border or involving ourselves in Putin’s arguments with former Soviet or Soviet dominated territories. There is nothing we can do in that region and therefore we should not meddle.

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