BRUSSELS — A bitter political and diplomatic rift between Germany and Poland, both important members of the European Union and NATO, has worsened as Russia’s war in Ukraine has ground on, undermining cohesion and solidarity in both organizations.

A German offer to Poland to supply two batteries, rare and costly Patriot air defense missiles was made recently to underscore the toxic nature of their relationship. This came after a Ukrainian rocket hit Przewodow and killed two Poles.

The Patriots offered Poland the Patriots’ offer, but it was rejected by Poland. The Poles insisted on the installation of the batteries in Ukraine. NATO would not approve this as the missile system would only be operated from NATO personnel. After much allied concern and public criticism, it seems that the Poles have now accepted the missiles.

“This whole story is like an X-ray of miserable Polish-German relations,” Michal Baranowski is the regional managing director for the German Marshall Fund in Warsaw. “It’s worse than I thought, and I’ve watched it a long time.”

Poland has long been wary of Germany; Hitler’s invasion in 1939 was the start of World War II. It was also critical of Germany’s policy of Ostpolitik, the Cold War effort at Moscow and Central Europe, occupied by Soviet Union.

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Democratic Poland repeatedly criticized German dependency Russian Energy and the Nord Stream pipelines, which were built to transport it cheaply Russian You can get gas to Germany directly and avoid Poland and Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has only intensified the view in Poland that Germany’s close relations with Russia and President Vladimir V. Putin were not just naïve but selfish and, possibly, just on hold rather than permanently sundered.

Jana Puglierin from Berlin, the director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, stated that both sides have made mistakes in this dispute. “The relationship has been deteriorating for years, but it’s peaking now and doing real damage,” She spoke. “There is a gap emerging between Europe’s east and west, old Europe and new Europe, and that’s beneficial only for Vladimir Putin.”

Germany believed that this gesture of military assistance would be a good idea. “an offer that was too good to be refused,” According to diplomatic protocol, a senior German diplomat spoke anonymously. He stated that the Poles want to buy Patriots, an antimissile surface-to-air system. “so we wanted to make this government’s caricature of Germany more hollow.”

But after the Polish defense minister and president quickly accepted the offer, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the powerful 73-year-old leader of Poland’s governing Law and Justice party, rejected it just two days later.

He not only insisted that the Patriots go into Ukraine; he also suggested that Germany, which he frequently attacks for siding with Russia over Poland and whose soldiers would operate the Patriots, wouldn’t dare confront Russia. “Germany’s attitude so far gives no reason to believe that they will decide to shoot at Russian missiles,” Mr. Kaczynski said.

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Although Mr. Kaczynski is not formally involved in the Polish government, Mariusz Blaszczak became a member of the cabinet within hours. Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, from the same party, and who is also Poland’s commander in chief, was embarrassed by the painfully obvious display of his powerlessness.

NATO allies were quiet furious at the prospect of the Patriots being operated by German soldiers. However, the defense bloc has made clear that it will not send troops to Ukraine or risk a NATO -related crisis.Russian war. Germany stated that any decision to send Patriots into Ukraine would need to be a NATO-wide decision and not a bilateral one.

“Kaczynski knew this and was being totally cynical,” Piotr Buras (Warsaw director, European Council on Foreign Relations) said this. “Everyone knew the Germans would not and could not send Patriots to Ukraine. And, of course, there are no Polish soldiers in Ukraine, either.”

The only explanation for Mr. Kaczynski’s response is political, Mr. Baranowski of the German Marshall fund said, since Poland is in an electoral campaign and the party’s support has been slipping. Law and Justice is strengthening its base with elections set for next autumn. “criticism of Germany is a constant party line,” He said.

Some analysts also suspected a political motivation on the German part. Berlin offered to help the Poles shortly after the death of their loved ones. “clearly a German effort to have a win in the bitter, toxic Polish-German diplomatic war,” Wojciech Przybylski is chief editor at Visegrad Insight, and president of Warsaw’s Res Publica Foundation, which is a research institution. “And it also harms Kaczynski’s electoral strategy.”

Even so, “for Poland’s leading politician, and head of the ruling coalition, to say that he has no trust in Germany as an ally was shocking,” Mr. Baranowski stated. “If mismanaged this can hurt alliance unity, beyond the two countries — I’ve never seen security instrumentalized in this way, in this toxic mixture.”

Credit…Laetitia Vancon, Sunday Review

However, Germany refused to withdraw the offer, the German diplomat stated. Opinion polls also showed that large numbers of Poles considered having German Patriots in Poland a good idea.

On Tuesday night, Poland’s government changed its position. Defense minister Blaszczak announced He was able to reach an agreement with Berlin after further negotiations. “disappointedly” Accepted that the missiles wouldn’t reach Ukraine. “We are beginning working arrangements on deploying the launchers in Poland and making them part of our command system.”

The bitterness will not go away and many people don’t expect Mr. Kaczynski or his party to abandon questioning German sincerity. Warsaw, for example, demanded Germany’s reparations for World War II. It calculated $1.3 trillion in wartime loss. Berlin had claimed that the matter was settled in 1990.

But the criticism of German hesitancy toward helping Ukraine, and of France’s early willingness to push for peace talks at Ukraine’s expense, is not limited to Poland but is also prevalent in central, eastern and northern Europe, although less charged.

“There is a lot of talk about Western and E.U. unity and cooperation on Ukraine, but at the same time this war has triggered a significant wave of criticism of Western Europe in Poland and the Baltics,” “Said Mr. Buras, European Council on Foreign Relations.” “It deepened the skepticism and criticism, especially of Germany and France, and fed a sense of moral superiority toward them, that we’re on the right side and they were on the wrong side,” He said. “And it has deepened mistrust about security cooperation with them, that we can’t rely on them, but only on the U.S. and the U.K.”

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He said that the Polish debate combines two things. The first is that there is an a “ruthless political instrumentalization of Germany by Law and Justice — it’s incredible how they portray Germany as an enemy and Berlin as dangerous to Poland as Moscow, that Berlin wants Russia to win and is not really helping Ukraine at all.”

However, beyond the propaganda, Mr. Buras stated that there is a failure to recognize in Poland that post-invasion, war has returned to Europe and that Germany must rearm. Germany has become too dependent on it Russian Chinese trade and energy

Ms. Puglierin stated that Poland might not be the only country to criticize Germany over Ukraine. “it’s the political layer in Poland, toxic and nasty.” Law and Justice “jump on this German hesitation and use it for domestic political reasons, and I think it will only get worse before the elections, at the very time when unity is useful.”

One bright spot in cooperation is there. The two countries met earlier this month. signed an agreement We will work to secure the future for the Schwedt giant refinery, a German facility which had previously processed Russian Oil is now under sanctions

Sophia Besch (a German analyst working with the Carnegie Endowment) insists that Germany has evolved since the time of the Carnegie Endowment. Russian invasion. She cited the abrupt shift in policy towards a stronger military, and greater economic resilience as evidence of this. “Zeitenwende,” Or historical turning point, announced in the speech of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “Scholz is much more committed to listening to Central European countries,” She spoke. “I believe our romance with Russia is over.”