"No one negotiated with Hitler"… Why Polish Prime Minister criticizes Emmanuel Macron

“No one negotiated with Hitler”… Why Polish Prime Minister criticizes Emmanuel Macron

Is the tea towel burning between the Poland and France? After a week of spades between Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish Prime Minister, and Emmanuel Macron, Warsaw convened the French ambassador on Friday following the French president’s remarks. The latter accused the head of the Polish government of the Conservative Party of Law and Justice (PIS) of “extreme right-wing anti-Semitism, which bans LGBT people.” He also felt that he was “interfering in the French political campaign”, pointing out his closeness to Marine Le Pen, his far-right rival in the presidential election.

Earlier this week, Mateusz Morawiecki sided with Emmanuel Macron, accusing him of continuing to talk to Vladimir Putin despite the war in Ukraine. “President Macron, how many times have you negotiated with Putin? What have you got?” We don’t debate, we don’t negotiate with criminals, criminals need to be fought, ”he said.

“No one negotiated with Hitler. Would you negotiate with Hitler, with Stalin, with Pol Pot? He also launched, perhaps forgetting the Munich Accords of 1938. He also criticized Germany and its dependence on Russian raw materials, “the main obstacle to very strong sanctions.”

Mateusz Morawiecki addresses “more to his Conservative electorate”

Why such an exit aimed at the French president? According to Dorota Dakowska, a political science professor at Sciences Po Aix and a specialist in Central and Eastern Europe, the Polish Prime Minister is addressing “his conservative and even Europhobic electorate more than his European partners.” These statements are part of “the historical policy pursued by the party Law and Justice: a public policy of history where, through education, research, museums, commemorations, we seek to enhance an image of the Poles as a heroic nation fighting for its independence, against the Nazis and then against the Soviets, ”says Valentin Behr, a political science researcher at the Institut d’études avancées in Paris.

Pis has a traditional position of distrust of Russia. For example, he “surfed a lot on the Smolensk air disaster,” adds Dorota Dakowska. In April 2010, the plane of President Lech Kaczynski, the brother of the current leader of the Pis, crashed in Smolensk, Russia, while members of the government and the army were going to attend the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Katyn. Thousands of Polish civilians and soldiers were killed there in 1940 by Soviet political police. As a memorial, “there is this idea of ​​a kind of Katyn bis, with a conspiracy rhetoric agitated by the Pis: the Russians allegedly fomented a plot to assassinate the Polish president,” said Valentin Behr. And Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the late president’s brother, repeated it this week. »

Light a “backlight”

Criticized for moving closer to far-right parties in Europe, closer to the Kremlin, and sometimes funded by Russia, such as the National Rally, the Polish prime minister wanted to light “a backlash,” says Valentin Behr. “It’s about responding by saying ‘Putin’s real allies in Europe are the Germans, who have the Nord Stream 2 gas pipelineor the French government, which seeks to negotiate a compromise with a Putin who is ultimately a dictator, in the image of Hitler or Stalin. “

“Right now in Poland, each party is accusing the other of playing Putin’s game,” said Dorota Dakowska. For the centrist opposition, the government and the Law and Justice Party share the line of the Russian president in their ultra-conservative, homophobic positions, contrary to the right to abortion. For the government, the opposition is playing the same game as Putin, who has called for the reception of refugees in the context of tensions with Belarus in late 2021.

The Viktor Orban problem

On the Polish stage, Mateusz Morawiecki also wants to “hide his closeness to.” Viktor Orban and show other culprits. It seeks to divert its view from its alliance with Hungary, its main ally in the European Union, “said Dorota Dakowska. Because the Hungarian position has created dissension in the alliance of the sovereignist and Eurosceptic parties. Orban, who remained close to Putin, distinguished himself by refusing to deliver weapons to Ukraine. He also did not condemn the Boutcha massacre and said it was willing to pay for Russian gas in rubles, which other EU countries refused.

On the other hand, the weight of history obviously comes into play, especially the World War II and Soviet rule in Eastern Europe. “There is an idea in Poland that Russia, especially under Putin, is a security threat,” said Valentin Behr. Poland does not want to be marginalized: “Above all, there is a fear of an agreement between the major European powers – France, Germany – and Russia, on the backs of Eastern countries. Much like this was the case – it is perceived in these countries – in Yalta after the Second World War. The idea that by arguing with Russia, seeking a compromise, one is sacrificing the small peripheral states of Eastern Europe, considering them part of a zone of Russian influence. »

The fear of an extension of the Ukrainian conflict is also very present, even if Poland is part of it NATO, just like Hungary. “Russia has also repeatedly threatened Poland in the speeches of its state television experts,” said Dorota Dakowska. They suggested that Ukraine should be completely sprayed, and then why not Poland. There is a certain nervousness about all this, but also the conviction that we must not weaken in the face of Putin, who understands only strength. »

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