This article originally appeared at Izvestia, translated from Russian by Olga Seletskaia
Three parties were in favour of Poland’s trip to the Russian peninsula after the election campaign is over. Polish MPs from the party “Union of Real Politics”, “Freedom and the rule of law”, as well as “The Congress of the New Right” recognize the legal status of the Crimea within the Russian Federation, despite the extremely anti-Russian rhetoric of the authorities in Poland. Janusz Korwin-Mikke, the founder and leader of the three parties and the MEP of the eighth convocation, told this in his interview to “Izvestia”. The politician also believes that the MP’s of the French parliament did the right thing having recently visited the Russian peninsula.
“I believe the French parliamentarians did the right thing by paying a visit to the Crimea, because this recognizes the current legal status of the Crimean Peninsula as a part of the Russian Federation”, said Korwin-Mikke. – “I am all for such a trip and I will try to carry it out; but, unfortunately, I am not available until October 25, in connection with my election campaign”.
Polish politician also said he would discuss with his colleagues the possibility of visiting the Russian peninsula after the end of the campaign.
MEP from Poland believes that it is necessary to dispel the anti-Russian myths, which are often used by Polish politicians. According to him, he does not call for an alliance with Russia, but Poland needs to treat Russia as any other country, needs to come out of the Cold War rhetoric and criticism of the Soviet Union, because today’s Russia is a different country.
“Our party sees Russia as a strong counterweight to the European Union. We would like to develop trade contacts with Russia and China, because it would bring the dynamics of development, as opposed to moribund European Union. There must be economic expansion of Poland to the East, not the West”, says Korwin-Mikke.
Political adviser to the party leader, the dean of the Faculty of Journalism and International Studies of the Warsaw University of Communications and Political Science, Yan Bromski also believes that it is a good idea for Polish politicians to visit the peninsula, since the visit will help clarify the political views of the EU on the Crimea.
“The Crimea is now the center of political interests in Europe. It is remarkable that the situation concerns the old part of Western Europe. This means that visits by prominent politicians of the European Union are very useful as they help to define political interests in the peninsula.”
According to Bromski, a trip to the Crimea would be interesting for him as a political scientist; it will help him clarify his point of view on what is happening there.
The party “New Right” in the recent elections to the European Parliament from Poland received 7.15% of the votes, thus becoming the fourth party in the Polish political scene. During his political career, Korwin-Mikke took part in the presidential elections five times. It was him who in April 2015 said that snipers who shot people on Maidan in Kyiv during the February coup in 2014, had been trained in Poland.
The Polish opposition non-parliamentary party “Change” shares the interest to visit the Russian peninsula.
“This trip seems necessary for our party. I would be very happy to go there with my colleagues. It is important to see with our own eyes how people live there after the Crimea joined the Russian Federation. We believe in the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s politics. Our party approves his actions in the Middle East, and it shows that his policy towards the peninsula is also right”, – deputy chairman Nabil Malasi told “Izvestia”, adding that there won’t be issues on permits to visit the Crimea. – “We do not ask for permission to go somewhere. No one can decide for us. We live in a democratic country, so no one can change our position”.
According to Malasi, the conflict in Ukraine is a real aggression against Russia, aimed solely at its isolation. The United States initiated the aggression, supported, in particular, by the official authorities of Poland.
Official Warsaw has repeatedly expressed support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine within the boundaries of early 2014, as well as non-acceptance of the Crimea’s reconciliation with Russia. Poland as a member of the European Union introduced sanctions against Moscow in accordance with the EU, and it cancelled all activities of the Year of Poland in Russia that had been planned for 2015. Poczta Polska discontinued its postal services for residents of the Crimea.
During their visit to the Crimea in July, the French MP’s had the opportunity to meet with politicians and local residents. The French delegation, along with co-chairman of the Association “Franco-Russian dialogue,” Thierry Mariani, consisted of 11 MP’s including: eight members of the center-right party “Republicans” – former supporters of Nicolas Sarkozy on the “Union for a Popular Movement” – Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate of France, Yves Pozzo di Borgo, deputy Nikola Dyuik and Jacques Myard, and one delegate from the centrist and leftist forces.
“Many EU politicians expressed their desire to visit the Crimea,” the deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Andrei Klimov said to “Izvestia”. A delegation from Italy also accepted his invitation to visit Russia.
Italian MPs, members of the “Five Stars” group, and senators from the Italian party “Lega Nord” plan to visit the Russian peninsula after parliamentary vacation. A group of 8-10 Italian parliamentarians want to learn how people in the Crimea live after the referendum in March 2014.
“Some time ago, I went to Rome and Milan. I met with representatives of different Italian parties. Every time we talked about the possibility of visiting the Crimea, in order for them to be personally convinced that the referendum was honest, legitimate and transparent. They also want to see that the Crimeans still believe that they made the right choice in the referendum. Despite differenced in opinions, all our Italian partners agree on that”, – said Klimov. – “We are working in this direction, not only in Italy but also in several other countries. I was talking to parliamentarians from about 30 countries of the European Union. MP’s from other countries – for example, Portugal and Germany, – are also interested in visiting the Crimea.”