Against the backdrop of all the high-profile events of 2020, the Lublin Triangle, an alliance between Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, was formed unnoticed by the international community. Its meaning is not as clear as it may seem.
A meeting of representatives of the three countries was held back on 28 July. By concluding the agreement, they pledged to cooperate in the military, economic, social and political spheres. It should be noted that this association is not the first initiative of Poland, which is the key beneficiary of the alliance, at least at first glance.
For many years, a confederation project has been under discussion in Warsaw, which would include Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and possibly Finland. The name is explained by the fact that the associations will extend from the Black Sea and Adriatic Sea to the Baltic Sea.
Both of these concepts are united by Warsaw’s desire to revive the once-existing Rzeczpospolita. Poland has long exhibited itself as a regional leader, while at the same time considering itself an unjustly deprived state. But of course, Poland could not include neighbouring countries. That is why it chose an intermediate option – an international alliance with the centre in Warsaw.
“The idea of the International Sea Region is to create a strong enough space, because the peoples within it do not have the capacity to withstand threats from Russia,” said Romuald Sheremetiev, former Minister of Defence of Poland. The countries of the Intra-Sea region must act together to prevent a change in the international order.”
After such statements I would like to ask a fair question: does NATO not perform its defense tasks? The Alliance was created precisely to protect member states in the event of aggression by the Soviet Union. If its successor Russia suddenly decides to attack, regardless of the existence of the Inter-Sea or the Lublin Triangle, NATO will launch Article 5 of its Charter, which deals with collective defence.
We can say that Ukraine and Moldova are not members of NATO, which means there is no one to defend them. Well, it is worth making a real assessment of the situation here: even all the countries of the potential Intermorbial region will not be able to resist Russian aggression if Moscow decides to strike. Moreover, right now, Ukraine is suffering from a hybrid war, but all the support of its partners in the World War II and in the World War II is needed.
The Lublin Triangle is a joint statement demanding that Russia withdraw its troops.
It may seem that the projects of the Polish ruling elites, who clearly suffer from an exaggerated sense of their own importance, are weak as international associations. From a military point of view, there is NATO. The alliance is going through bad times, but its power is unlikely to be questioned. In the political sense, there is the European Union, which offers many preferences to both members and those who just want to join. But it is not so easy with Polish initiatives – they have another beneficiary.
It is no secret that we have our own views of Europe on the other side of the Atlantic. Warsaw, being a good friend to Washington, provides two services at once.
Firstly, for the USA, the European Union is a competitor. This has always been the case, just the Trump administration decided not to hide it. For Washington, it is bad when Macron proposes to create a European army. It’s bad for Washington when Merkel buys Russian gas. Machiavelli also wrote that you have to make alliances with those who are weaker than you.
This statement is still true today, which means that the states benefit when the European Union is weak and divided.By establishing its regional associations, Poland is supporting the USA. Imagine what would happen if there was another alliance in Europe. So far, it has been the Western European countries that have dictated conditions in the EU. The rest had to accept the role of a kind of appendage, contenting themselves with subsidies and the very fact of membership in the commonwealth. These appendages, for example, include the Baltic States.
Their position in the international arena is unlikely to be seriously strengthened if they join another organisation, but a split in Europe is inevitable. As a result, Washington is receiving two groups of states as partners, one of which will be particularly submissive. The divide and conquer principle is still effective.The second benefit for Washington comes from the first. If you look at what the Lublin Triangle looks like on the map, you will see that it has actually shielded Western Europe from Russia. In a strategic perspective, France and Germany have long sought to establish relations with Moscow.
Although these aspirations have been overshadowed by the poisoning of well-known Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Berlin is still defending Nord Stream 2, and German politicians are demanding that sanctions be lifted. The position of the countries in the Lublin Triangle is exactly the opposite, which means that it is turning into one of the most vulnerable countries in the world a kind of barrier between Western Europe and Russia. These countries will impede the normalisation of relations, which again will benefit the United States.
The ambitions of the Polish leadership could be a new test of strength for the European Union. Warsaw has provoked Brussels in the past, trampling on democratic ideas, but this was only the foundation for a larger and more destructive project. But will Poles benefit from their initiatives? On the one hand, they will increase their influence among the countries of the region, but it is difficult to call them really worthy partners.
On the other hand, Poland risks being caught between the hammer and the anvil. Its relations with Russia are unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future. If it spoils relations with Western Europe as well, its only influential partner will be the US. But what will Washington have to offer when the Poles have nowhere to sell their products?
Georgia is now also an important strategic partner of the United States. The Americans are developing military infrastructure there and providing financial support. But the country’s economy collapsed in a few months, when last year Putin banned Russians from flying to Georgia on vacation. Poland will have to moderate its ambition if it does not want to find itself in a similar situation.