PM writes in The Economist that Ukraine situation is similar to 1938
Poland's prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has said there are “striking" similarities between Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the 1938 Munich agreement, which sacrificed Czechoslovakia to appease Hitler and paved the way for German aggression the following year.
Morawiecki drew the historical parallel in an article he wrote for the British magazine the The Economist.
"The war in Ukraine makes us realise that, though history is a good teacher, it has some poor students," Morawiecki wrote.
"Several Western European politicians have forgotten the lesson offered by the Munich agreement of 1938. The analogies with the present situation are striking. The policy of appeasement, spearheaded by Britain’s prime minister at the time, Neville Chamberlain, was followed by the outbreak of the Second World War within a year," the article continued.
The prime minister pointed out that in February 2007, almost 70 years after "the infamous Munich conference, Vladimir Putin openly announced his desire to dismantle the post-cold war order in Europe.
"The following year, he attacked Georgia. Six years after that, he occupied Crimea and set Donbas in eastern Ukraine ablaze," Morawiecki continued. "And, another eight years on, he began the bloodiest stage of his plan so far. The demons of history have returned. We are witnessing genocide again."
He asserted that the mechanisms of totalitarianism remain the same as seven decades ago, and that the mechanisms of appeasement also remain unchanged. Russia would continue its cruelty, he continued, and, if not halted, there could be repeats of the events at Bucha, Irpin and Mariupol.
Morawiecki wrote that for over a decade, Poland had warned against a policy of concession towards Russia and the resurgent imperial aspirations of its president, Vladimir Putin, but that those warnings had gone unheeded or had even been met with contempt.
He argued that Europe should do more to aid Ukraine both economically and militarily and proposed the confiscation of all Russian assets and currency reserves overseas with the resultant income being made available for Ukrainian aid.
He went on to say that Poland wanted to provide more arms to Ukraine, with Nato's approval, and that the whole of Europe should unite to work out a post-war recovery plan for Ukraine.
The Polish prime minister also reiterated that he had consistently and tirelessly appealed for maximum economic sanctions against Moscow.
Only the most stringent sanctions and the provision of arms to Ukraine will be able to halt the Russian armed forces and defend democracy and Ukrainian freedom, Morawiecki argued, conceding that that would cost Europe's citizens as energy prices would probably increase, but that that was a small price to pay. The faster the West acts, the sooner the war would come to an end, he wrote.