Poland’s De Facto Blockade Of Ukraine Is Its Outgoing Government’s Last Power Play

By Andrew Korybko, a Moscow-based American political analyst who specializes in the global systemic transition to multipolarity in the New Cold War. He has a PhD from MGIMO, which is under the umbrella of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Originally published at his website.

This is also Poland’s last realistic chance to defend its territorial integrity in the face of the coming years’ threats.

Poland is poised to become Germany’s largest-ever vassal state upon former Prime Minister and European Commission President Donald Tusk’s likely return to the premiership following the liberal-globalist opposition coalition’s victory in last month’s elections. Those who are interested in learning more about how this is expected to unfold should review this analysis here, which focuses on how the interplay between EU, German, and NATO policies will likely lead to this geopolitical outcome.

Since that fateful vote took place, Polish truckers now even farmers have imposed a de facto blockade against Ukraine that the outgoing government hasn’t broken, which can be regarded as that party’s last power play aimed at giving their country a fighting chance at preserving some of its sovereignty. Here’s a collection of news items about this development from the beginning of the month in order to bring readers up to speed since the Western media hasn’t given it the attention that it deserves:

* “EU state blocking Ukrainian vehicles – Spiegel

* “Ukrainian envoy condemns Polish trucker blockade

* “Protesters in EU state blocking aid to Kiev – Ukrainian official

* “Polish farmers to join Ukraine blockade – Bloomberg

* “Ukrainians warned of food shortages

* “Ukraine counting costs of Polish border blockade

* “Polish truckers blocking Ukraine military cargos – media

This scenario was actually forecast in early October in the author’s piece about how “Morawiecki Suspects That Zelensky Struck A Deal With Germany Behind Poland’s Back”. It was predicted that Poland could impose a de facto blockade against Ukraine if the ruling party won in order to coerce that country into distancing itself from Germany to a degree, which sought to replace Poland’s desired sphere of influence there as part of its regional power play against it. Here’s the pertinent excerpt from that piece:

“Poland could threaten to stop the transit of third countries’ (especially Germany’s) military and economic aid to Ukraine until Kiev pays restitution for [the Przewodow incident] in the form of institutionalizing its envisaged sphere of influence there. What’s being proposed is a remix of the 1938 ultimatum that Poland gave to Lithuania, albeit this time without the implied threat of armed force if Ukraine doesn’t agree. Nevertheless, the threat of cutting off that country’s military and economic lifeline would likely be sufficient for coercing Kiev into complying with Warsaw’s demands.”

As it turned out, Poland did indeed impose a de facto blockade against Ukraine, though the ruling party and its potential allies failed to win the majority of parliamentary seats during last month’s elections. Nevertheless, their refusal to break up the trucker-farmer blockade of that former Soviet Republic strongly implies tacit approval for it, and nobody should be surprised if it’s later revealed that that they played a role in organizing this behind the scenes to some extent.

From the outgoing government’s perspective, the restoration of Poland’s sphere of influence over Ukraine in the face of aggressive German attempts to replace it is required for their country to have a fighting chance at preserving its sovereignty vis-à-vis Germany during Tusk’s next premiership. Even though he’s expected to subordinate Poland to German hegemony as the hyperlinked analysis at the beginning of this piece explained, this desired geopolitical reversal could impede that.

To elaborate, the worst-case scenario for Poland is that it becomes Germany’s largest-ever vassal state and then plays second fiddle to Ukraine in Berlin’s envisaged “Mitteleuropa”, which would run the risk of Berlin rewarding Kiev for forthcoming preferential reconstruction contracts with influence over Warsaw. This could in practice take the form of forcing Poland to accept even more Ukrainian migrants than it already has, all with the intent of them then becoming citizens and forming their own voting bloc.

If these “Weapons of Mass Migration” concentrate along the border region that the briefly lived post-WWI Ukrainian state at one time claimed as its own, then these newfound demographic realities and the creation of a powerful German-backed voting bloc could one day threaten Poland’s territorial integrity. It’s therefore imperative to avert this worst-case scenario through all realistic means possible, ergo why the outgoing government strongly appears to tacitly approve of the ongoing de facto blockade.

If it succeeds in coercing Ukraine into restoring Poland’s sphere of influence over the country that Germany just recently replaced over the summer, ideally by institutionalizing it in some legal form prior to the incumbents leaving office, then Poland’s territorial integrity can more confidently be defended. As regards Tusk’s plans to subordinate Poland to German hegemony, he’ll struggle to do so completely since that would necessitate a full-fledged purge of his country’s permanent bureaucracy.

In particular, he’d have to remove all conservative-nationalists from the military, intelligence, and diplomatic branches thereof (collectively referred as the “deep state”), which is a herculean task that he might possibly attempt but won’t be able to completely implement. Any serious moves in this direction could also provoke large-scale protests or similar such socio-economic disruptions that could be orchestrated by those same forces exactly as they’re suspected of partially orchestrating the blockade.

Just like the liberal-globalist “deep state” worked against Trump’s agenda in the US, so too could Poland’s conservative-nationalist counterparts work against Tusk’s in order to sabotage his goal of subordinating Poland to German hegemony. To be clear, they won’t be able to stop it entirely even in the best-case scenario just like Trump’s “deep state” opponents couldn’t entirely stop his agenda, but they could still largely derail it and buy time till the next elections, which is good enough given the circumstances.

If they don’t restore Poland’s recently lost sphere of influence over Ukraine before handing over control of the government to Tusk, however, then impending threats to Poland’s territorial integrity could become a fait accompli by the time the next polls are held in the worst-case scenario. That’s why the de facto blockade of Ukraine can be regarded not just as the outgoing government’s last power play, but as Poland’s last realistic chance to defend its territorial integrity in the face of the coming years’ threats.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Taurus

    What exactly is “German hegemony “? German companies have a ton of influence in Poland via their subsidiaries, but this hardly constitutes “hegemony “. If the author means that Germany is going to send troops to occupy Poland via some nefarious NATO Schengen back door, I remain unconvinced.

    I have been going to Poland on business since 2008 and have seen the steady improvement of infrastructure and standard of living in the past 15 years. The EU money (most of it German money) has benefited Poland tremendously. This is true not only of Warsaw, but also of Lodz, Poznan etc.

    Here are some statistics

    What I am trying to say here is that extrapolating the political will of 37 million people from the narrowly focused road blockades – even with the tacit support of an outgoing government – and then deriving a grand theory of territorial integrity threat from the extrapolation is weak at best.

    1. Worried german

      NATO-Schengen: be able to move military without restraint.

      EU and NATO were aligned anyway, but last year there was a statement (from U.v.d.L I guess) about EU and NATO aligning much closer in the future.

      There are again people pushing to move Ukraine into EU (Baerbock and others).

      This would allow then moving military to Ukraine (“inside the EU”) easily and without official NATO involvement.
      And during the last days in the german media there is talk about Russias plans to move into europe (the propaganda side of creation of fear), and also there is talk about germans and europeans to be preparing for war with russia.

      Taking all things together this is somewhat frightening.
      Put into a question, this could be: If no Ukrainians are left over to fight against Russia, will the USA also be sacrificing Europeans?
      Some Europeans seem to have no problem with that. I guess they already know where to reside, when the war starts, and it’s not in Europe.

  2. DJG, Reality Czar

    This is the second column by Korybko on this topic, the impending take-over of Poland by Germany. It is the second column the logic of which I don’t follow. (And other columns by Korybko have been clear and logical.)

    This column, in particular, simply repeats over and over that Tusk will give in and sell out Poland. But I’m not finding proof of it.

    The Polish government for the last several years has been remarkably self-serving and cynical. Let’s think about the suborning of the judiciary, the various laws against abortion, the “no gayfolk here!” stuff, plus the anti-migrant sentiments. Meanwhile, Ukraine erupts into a proxy war, and the Polish government has been swirling around like some vulture trying to manipulate the situation to its advantage.

    So if the Germans assert themselves, how does this lead to the Fourth Partition? I don’t get it. If anything, it is just deserts after being the all-around bad neighbor. I won’t even mention Nord Stream.

    So I don’t follow the premises and I don’t foresee the same outcome. Just as the EU and NATO aren’t prepared for Poland’s territorial acquisition of Ukraine, I tend to doubt that the power balance in Central Europe is going to go all that crazy.

    But then, of course, the other day in the post about Finland, none of us commenters could figure out what the Finnish government is trying to achieve, besides self-destruction.

    1. GramSci

      Agreed. Germany is history. The neocons don’t give a fig about it. Their priorites are their forward positions against the Black Sea (see Conor’s post today about TurkStream), the Baltic Sea, Suez, and the Arctic. I think they’re grooming the next Sir Winston to relitigate the Battle of Gallipoli.

      1. The Rev Kev

        During the First Cold War, West Germany was the linchpin of NATO’s defenses and there were NATO troops and bases spread all around that country. Perhaps the calculation in Washington is that as the frontier has moved to Poland, then Poland should be the new linchpin and have NATO troops and bases stationed all over that country. And Germany? That would become the fallback position if things go south in Poland.

        1. digi_owl

          When one talk about ground wars, one look for natural choke points.

          The Fulda Gap was where NATO expected the Warsaw Pact to advance through, should they decide to invade West Germany etc.

Comments are closed.