Former Chief of Military Intelligence, a member of the commission on Russian influences, Brigadier General Andrzej Kowalski, stated that Poland is a region of strategic competition on the European level. He assessed, “We have always been subject to synchronized Russian-German influences that block our strategic interests.”
When asked about the strength of foreign influences in Poland, Gen. Kowalski emphasized that there is no doubt that for decades, even centuries, Poland has been an area of strategic competition on the European level between two main countries – Russia and Germany.
“These influences have been built over generations. We are dealing with something very challenging for us as a country because we have always been subjected to synchronized German-Russian or Russian-German influences, as one prefers,” he said.
The former head of Military Intelligence highlighted that the difficulty in this situation lies in the need to observe all foreign influences, not just Russian ones, which is very difficult for many reasons. He added that defining German or Russian influences is, in a sense, “banal.”
“Everything that implements someone else’s state interest through Polish politics is the result of the impact of a foreign superpower on the Polish state. So, we can look for certain threads, paths of change that have taken place in Poland over the past few decades and ask ourselves which of these changes had a beneficial effect on the growth of the country’s internal strength, economic power, and which actions and scenarios actually served to increase the significance of the German or Russian economy,” he assessed.
Destructive Russian influence
Gen. Kowalski emphasized that from the perspective of the war in Ukraine, a very important issue is the Russian influence, which, in his opinion, is “completely destructive to the Polish state.” “This is because the Russians, in wartime conditions, must act in a way that will completely block the Polish state; they must lead to the paralysis of the Polish state,” he added.
At the same time, the former head of Military Intelligence pointed out that we should not forget the continuous attempt by German politics to influence Polish politics, which is related to German strategic concepts linked to the development of the European Union.
“Poland, as a significant country within the Union in terms of economics and population, must somehow also be subject to German political modification, which will result in us fitting more into scenarios written in Berlin or Brussels than in Warsaw,” he said.
Gen. Kowalski stressed that in a sense, German and Russian influences are partially inseparable, and that is how we should look at them. He added that these influences differ in terms of quality and structural construction, but in both cases, they involve blocking our strategic interests.
“Regardless of the differences in these forms, regardless of the fact that we are certainly not dealing with the same degree of aggression from the German side as from the Russian side, we must remember that two forces, from the East and the West, are constantly affecting Poland,” he said.