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Title: Polityka Polski wobec Rosji, Ukrainy i Białorusi w latach 1989-2010
Other Titles: Poland's policy towards Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in the years 1989-2010
Authors: Fedorowicz, Krzysztof
Keywords: Polska polityka wschodnia
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM
Citation: K. Fedorowicz, Polityka Polski wobec Rosji, Ukrainy i Białorusi w latach 1989-2010, Poznań 2011, s. 343.
Abstract: The subject of studies is Poland’s policy towards Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in the years 1989–2010. It encompasses analysis of the bilateral diplomatic relations from the point of view of political science. It is not an attempt at a comprehensive presentation of the problem but only an interpretation of the aspect connected with strictly political relations, which are the most dynamic element of the eastern policy of Poland. The other components, phenomena and events connected with Polish eastern policy were presented as a background or to supplement the cause-and-effect process. The formation of the first conceptions of Polish eastern policy and the place in it of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus was burdened with the necessity to take into consideration the still existing USSR. It was only after its fall that making foreign policy without this “extra” burden was possible. Against all appearances starting diplomatic relations with eastern neighbours was not easy and, at the beginning, hopes were accompanied by fears connected with the persistent domination of the historical issues. Their exposing in the first half of the 1990s in case of Poland’s political relations with Russia as well as with Ukraine and Belarus, became a source of the first conflicts between Poland and these three countries. Hope and endeavours to make friendly political relations strongly corresponded with the fears and threats which were perceived in the bilateral relations. Polish authorities faced a difficult task of building foreign policy and defining goals and methods of their realisation in relations with eastern neighbours. The purpose of this book is to present as objectively and credibly as possible the long process of formation and evolution of Polish-Russian, Polish-Ukrainian and Polish-Belarusian relations. Political facts and events, which have significantly influenced Poland’s policy towards eastern neighbours, were taken into account. Poland’s political situation, the advancing evolution of goals of Polish foreign policy, coalition governments and their programmes of co-operation with eastern partners, international and many other factors which have an important impact on Poland’s eastern policy were submitted to a thorough analysis from the point of view of their positive and negative impact on bilateral political relations with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Another goal of this publication is to show to its readers the current state of bilaterial relations of Poland with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and to answer the question whether during the last two decades Polish authorities have done everything that was possible to exist today in a friendly international environment to the East of its borders. The aim of this work is also to take into consideration the question of how Russia, Ukraine and Belarus perceive Polish eastern policy and its influence on the state of Poland’s bilateral relations with these countries. This book consists of five chapters. Chapter One deals with the question of defining foreign policy and the process of making foundations of Poland's eastern policy in the new geopolitical situation. In his analysis, the author aims to explain the concept and essence of foreign policy and, its varying conditions, the process of setting goals in foreign policy and the question of methods and means applied in foreign policy. An important task of the book was to try to define the concept of raison d’état, which is too often overused in foreign policies. The subject of analysis were the evolutional process of formulating goals of eastern policy and the influence of the question of security of the state and priorities of foreign policy. The “two-way policy” towards Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, the crisis of eastern policy in the years 1993–1995 and the question of integration of Poland with the European Union and its impact on the goals set for foreign eastern policy were also presented. The subject of Chapter Two is the analysis of Poland’s policy towards the Russian Federation. An important issue was to answer the question: Why in Poland’s Russian policy the factor of threat dominated excessively and why the Russian partner was treated as an opponent in the region? The process of evolutional formation of geopolitical divergencies, lack of opportunities for a compromise as far as the issue of European security is concerned and the policy of crises in the Polish-Russian relations. An importatnt question was to show the role and significance of the Kaliningrad Region as a factor which has a negative influence on the Polish-Russian relations. In order to verify the initial hypotheses it was important to give an answer as to the causes of the defensive character of Poland’s policy towards Russia. In Chapter Three the author analysed Poland’s policy towards Ukraine, trying to answer the question of what was the Polish-Ukrainian “strategic partnership”? Whether it was really the result of special ties and interests uniting the two countries, or only a media and purely declarative part of Poland's policy towards the Ukrainian partner? Why did Ukraine so strongly strive to form a political and military alliance with Poland in the first half of the 90s of the 20th century and why it met refusal on the part of Poland? An important factor which helps to better understand the state and character of Polish-Ukrainian political relations was an analysis of the historical policy in mutual relations and its influence on the perception of bilateral relations. Poland’s policy towards Belarus is disccused in Chapter Four. An element which should be analysed was underestimation by the Polish party in its policy towards the Belorusian party of their fears connected with Polonisation and activities of the Catholic Church. Initially, issues which were of slight importance to Poland, later became the main reason of serious divergencies in bilateral relations. Also of importance is the question of the awareness of the Polish party of the change in the geopolitical future of Belarus because of Poland’s accession to the NATO. Political changes in Belarus in the years 1994–1996 were analysed in this work as well as their influence on the deterioration of mutual relations. It was also important to answer the question about the reasons of ineffectiveness of the policy of critical dialogue towards Belarus and causes of the conflict concerning Polish minority in 2005. Chapter Five contains an analysis of the current development of Poland’s policy towards Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and presents short- and long-term perspectives of further development of Polish eastern policy. Attention was paid to the perspectives of Polish policy towards each of the eastern neighbours in case of realisation of different variants of opportunities and threats. It was important how external and internal factors of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus generate challenges, threats and opportunities for Poland's eastern policy. The author took up this subject, encouraged by his wish to draw attention to the important role of Polish eastern policy during the past two decades in the realisation of the main goals of foreign policy and the security of the state. Initially, left out of consideration and underestimated, eastern policy began to be treated as an important and indispensable element of the foreign policy of the state only after the events of “the Orange Revolution” in Ukraine in 2004. Another factor, which motivated the author to take up this subject, is a still relatively small number of studies on the subject. Attention should be drawn to the fact that the output of works which directly deal with Polish eastern policy and bilateral relations of Poland with Russia, Ukraine and particularly with Belarus is still rather small. In the available literature, works devoted to historical aspects dominate, while decisively there is a shortage of monographs written from the point of view of political science. Although there are many scientific articles in collections of articles and studies, scientific journals and conference proceedings, they still do not offer a full diagnosis of the state of mutual relations of Poland with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
ISBN: 978-83-232-2267-5
ISSN: 0137-141X
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (WH)

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