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Germany is Isolating Poland, Says Polish Official

From Deutsche Welle (the German equivalent of BBC World or France 24)

Germany is Isolating Poland, Says Polish Official

Germany lacks a "vision for the future of Europe," according to a top Polish foreign policy official. He also accused his country's western neighbor of not taking Poland's interests seriously.

"Berlin isn't concerned with Poland's vital interests," according to Poland's foreign policy aid responsible for relations with Germany, Mariusz Muszynski.

Muszynski named energy and security policies as particular bones of contention in a guest commentary for Monday's edition of the German business daily Handelsblatt.

Poland's proposal for a common European army was met with "coldness and distance," Muszynski wrote. When Poland had advocated a common energy policy, Germany responded by clenching a deal with Russia to build the Baltic Sea gas pipeline, which would circumvent Poland, he added.

"Warsaw and not Moscow is Germany's partner in NATO and the EU," Muszynski said.

Germany wants to stay out of Polish elections

A German foreign ministry spokeswoman expressed "incomprehension" at Muszynski's remarks. She said that his comments may be linked to domestic political considerations.

"We do not want to contribute to the election campaign in Poland," the spokeswoman said, referring to the early parliamentary elections expected to take place next month.

Facing the possible collapse of their right-wing coalition, the Kaczynski twins -- Lech Kaczynski holds the presidency, while Jaroslav is prime minister -- have indicated that they may call early elections.

Germany's "official position will have to be very cautious in the weeks ahead, because every comment could be used as ammunition in the election campaign," Kai-Olaf Lang from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs said in an interview with German news agency DPA.

Although the perception of ordinary Poles of Germany is quite positive, "there will be no harmony" between the two countries, said Lang, as historical differences run too deep.

Historical wounds remain unhealed

The Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 and much publicized claims from Germans expelled from what is now Poland following World War II have been ongoing divisive issues.

Muszynski made several historical references in his commentary indicating that the past had a strong influence on the present bilateral relationship. He went so far as to suggest that Poland preferred Germany under Otto von Bismarck, a 19th century statesman known for his poor treatment of the Poles.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her predecessor Gerhard Schröder had strayed away from the positive "moderation" of Helmut Kohl, who was Germany's chancellor from 1982 to 1998, Muszynski said.

Re: Germany is Isolating Poland, Says Polish Official

""Berlin isn't concerned with Poland's vital interests," according to Poland's foreign policy aid responsible for relations with Germany, Mariusz Muszynski."

Why would they be?

It's time Poland started looking to itself for its shortcomings.