365 days around the world. “Changes, no changes”
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Growing Chinese, Russian and Belarusian authoritarianism. The return of the Taliban to Afghanistan, the worsening US confrontation with China, the growing power of populist movements in the West, and a “green” conflict in Europe looms. Meanwhile, “Polish foreign policy is still a dead end” – Jacek Stavesky, author of “Horizon” on TVN24 BiS, sums up 2021 in the world.
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It is better to start with the summary of the year 2021… with the summary of the year 1991, which he remembered after thirty years with all his might. Then, in December, the Soviet Union ended his life peacefully. The last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, formally resigned, and Boris Yeltsin took over his succession in Moscow. Instead of the Soviet Union, new countries appeared that shared its inheritance. Russia retained most elements of continuity, becoming an international successor to the USSR.
Eastern Europe: Russia’s growing appetite
In the memorable 1991, independence came to Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Kiev, and also to Minsk. The independence of Ukraine and Belarus created an opportunity for an entirely new geopolitical bargain in Eastern Europe, and ultimately also for the dismantling of imperial traditions in Russia itself.
Why is it necessary to mention 1991 in 2021? Because Russia is now declaring its goal to be the opposite of what happened thirty years ago. Moscow under Putin wants not only to regain control of independent Ukraine, but also to weaken the independence of Poland or Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Russia loudly calls for the right to conduct the foreign and defense policy of Ukraine and wants to participate in deciding the fate of Poland and most of the former Warsaw Pact countries.
Putin’s demands are not limited to the permanent closure of the Ukrainian route to the West. These are also demands for the subjugation of Poland at least in part by offering Moscow’s consent to closer relations between our country and Western alliances on a case-by-case basis.
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