The Baltics’ Demarche To Poland Over Its De Facto Blockade Of Ukraine Serves German Interests
From a geopolitical perspective, the Baltic States’ interests are served by supporting Poland’s rise all across Central & Eastern Europe so as to balance out Germany’s hegemonic aspirations, but their reaction to the de facto blockade doesn’t reflect that.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman recently confirmed that the Baltic States sent a demarche to Poland over its de facto blockade of Ukraine via their Ambassadors to Warsaw. This highly unusual move proves how much this latest crisis has worsened tensions in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) among officially allied countries like those three and Poland. Whether they realize it or not, the Baltic States are serving German interests through their demarche.
It was explained late last month that “Poland’s De Facto Blockade Of Ukraine Is Its Outgoing Government’s Last Power Play” to preemptively mitigate the strategic consequences of the Tusk-led incoming government’s expected subordination to Germany’s regional interests. In brief, those two have been fiercely competing for influence in Ukraine since summer, during which time Berlin gained an edge over Warsaw but the latter’s outgoing government has yet to concede defeat in this struggle.
The outgoing government envisages Poland leading CEE through the “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) whereas Germany’s government under Scholz envisages becoming the continent’s indisputable hegemon, with their resultant competition for influence over Ukraine being pivotal to each’s plans. If Germany comes out on top, then Poland will be squeezed between it and Ukraine, while Poland’s victory – or at least anything other than its total defeat – could buy valuable time till the next national elections.
From a geopolitical perspective, the Baltic States’ interests are served by supporting Poland’s rise all across CEE so as to balance out Germany’s hegemonic aspirations, but their reaction to the de facto blockade doesn’t reflect that. It’s more important to their policymakers that military aid continues pouring into that country unimpeded so as to continue eroding Russia’s capabilities as long as possible before the conflict ends than to stand in solidarity with their fellow 3SI and NATO ally over this issue.
The irony is that while their worldview is shaped by a pathological fear of Russia, these countries’ interests are arguably best served by supporting Polish-led CEE integration processes than facilitating German hegemony and risk Berlin cutting one day a deal with Moscow at their perceived expense. By betraying Poland through their official demarches, which contradicted the spirit of trust between them that was forged since 1991, they inadvertently served Germany’s hegemonic interests.
None of them had to file a formal complaint against Poland since discretely conveying their objections with its de facto blockade of Ukraine would have sufficed without risking a reversal of their 3SI achievements over the past years. By going through with that fateful step in coordination with one another, however, they showed that their pathological fear of Russia surpasses their interests in regional integration processes that preemptively mitigate the strategic consequences of German hegemony.
Simply put, these three countries sacrificed their national interests in order to virtue signal solidarity with Ukraine as part of their ritual undermining of Russia, which testifies to their leaderships’ lack of strategic vision as well as their immaturity. If Poland doesn’t regain something of tangible strategic significance in its spiraling dispute with Ukraine by the time Tusk takes power, then the 3SI could be coopted by him and his German patrons into another instrument of that country’s hegemony.