South Ossetia, payback for Kosovo” (Aug. 10)

WARSAW — Polish analysts and a part of the political scene are linking the South Ossetia crisis to that in Kosovo, Beta says.

The current armed conflict in the breakaway Georgian region is seen as the Russian answer to the western recognition of Kosovo Albanians’ unilateral declaration of independence, the Polish media are saying.

“This is the Russian answer to the recognition of Kosovo. That recognition was in fact a gift to Russia,” Polish People’s Party European MP Janusz Wojciechowski told TVN24.

Wojciechowski, whose party is a partner in Donald Tusk’s cabinet, warned that the case of Kosovo, where a part of the international community accepted the declaration of secession, “shows that it cannot be counted on double standards to pass”.

“Russia is using it now”, he concluded.

Warnings that the recognition of Kosovo will serve to the detriment of Georgia were heard in Poland as early as February this year.

Bearing in mind the risks for Poland’s allies in the Caucasus, Georgia above all, Warsaw’s recognition of the Kosovo Albanians’ secession was described as an irresponsible move by the legendary anti-communist leader and former Polish president, Lech Walesa.

“Recognizing Kosovo will bring nothing but trouble. No one can be denied the right to self-determination, but only within the bounds of common sense,” he was quoted as saying at the time.

Walesa stressed in his statements to the Polish media that Kosovo was “with its irresponsible behavior, causing new divisions in Europe and globally and undermining international relations“.