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“It cannot be ruled out that the Russian appetite will grow”

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From a young communist leader, Kwasniewski turned into a builder of the post-Soviet Poland we know today. After defeating historic trade unionist Lech Walesa in 1995, Kwasniewski made his country a member of NATO, overcoming fears that this expansion might displease Moscow, and later managed to join the EU.

Elected as the candidate of the Alliance of the Democratic Left, the sister party of the Portuguese PS, under his leadership Poland continued its transition to a market economy with mass privatization over two terms.

After years of the neo-liberal politics so fashionable at the turn of the 21st century, Kwasniewski will be replaced by Lech Kaczynski, who ushered in the rise to power of the ultra-conservative Law and Justice party that still dominates Polish politics.

Today, Kwasniewski sees in Ukraine a demonstration of the Russian danger that he has always warned about, and reminds that “NATO’s motto “Surveillance is the price of freedom” is no less true than it was 50 years ago.” He views Germany’s difficulties in getting rid of Russia’s energy dependence as proof that “even such large and rich countries as Germany are not immune from bad decisions.”

But he admits that Polish natural gas reserves “will not be able to cover more than one to one and a half months of consumption in winter.”

To what extent is Poland afraid of being drawn into the war by Russian aggression?

Poland is a neighbor of Ukraine and has become a logistics hub for international military assistance to the Ukrainian government. Warsaw is also the second largest supplier of military equipment to Ukraine after the United States, including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and artillery.

Along with the Baltic states, Warsaw is recognized as the most persistent opponent of Vladimir Putin’s aggressive policy in Europe. All this puts Poland in the first place among the countries that are threatened with escalation, however unlikely.

However, I would say that the risk of “dragging” Poland into the war, in the sense of direct military intervention, is limited. Poland is a member of NATO and the EU, and these organizations are working together to support Ukraine. Any individual action directed against Russia would be adventurous, which I would not expect from any European country at the present time.

Of course, in the long term, it cannot be ruled out that Russia’s appetites will increase, trying to restore the Soviet Union and arranging provocations, for example, against the Baltic states. This is especially likely if the war in Ukraine ends on a positive note from Putin’s point of view.

Thus, the decision taken at the June NATO summit to support the eastern flank with a stronger presence of NATO forces is quite legitimate. The NATO motto “Surveillance is the price of freedom” is no less true than it was 50 years ago.

In addition, Poland and other states have embarked on a comprehensive rearmament program to strengthen our armed forces and increase resilience to any potential aggression.

Do you think that some European countries, such as Germany, are too soft on aggression because of their energy dependence on Russia?

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There is widespread disillusionment among Eastern and Central Europeans about the pace and level of German involvement in Ukraine’s military support, given Berlin’s economic and industrial potential.

Personally, I would have some reservations about joining this club. Nor will it limit the reasons for Germany’s reluctance to abandon its energy dependency. Berlin has a long and painful history with Russia and other former Soviet republics of massacres and unprecedented war crimes.

This painful memory of the extremely tragic war in the east still hangs over the German conscience, and is also associated with a much stronger and more widespread pacifism in society than in other European states. Germany is also a great democracy, very open, with a culture of debate.

Thus, the change in policy towards Russia, which actually dates back to the 1970s, does not happen overnight. But it happens. Berlin slowly began to adapt to this new reality, because it began to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. But from the point of view of Central Europe, the perception of Germany as a reliable ally is bound to suffer.

But there are countries in Europe that exactly fit your description, such as Viktor Orban’s Hungary.

He openly disputes energy sanctions against Russia and has created an exception to European restrictions on imports from Russia.

Is there a way for Europe not to suffer from energy shortages anytime soon without Nord Stream 1? How prepared is Poland for this? Or neighboring countries?

If Russia really stops deliveries via Nord Stream 1, experts say that gas shortages cannot be avoided this winter, the situation will stabilize only next year. Much will also depend on how severe the winter will be and on the economic situation in Europe, where growth or recession will also determine gas demand levels. Anticipating a difficult situation, the EU decided at the last European summit to limit gas consumption to 15%.

Poland rejected Russia’s demand to pay for natural gas in rubles, and therefore gas imports from Russia to Poland were completely stopped by Gazprom. The only Russian gas currently imported by Poland goes through Germany. The capacities of gas storage facilities in Poland have already been exhausted for the winter, but their total capacity is rather small and will not be able to cover more than one to one and a half months of consumption in winter.

Poland has also opened the Baltic Gas Pipeline, a new pipeline that comes from Denmark and Norway, but there are still no gas purchase contracts to fill it even more than 50%. Thus, the situation is serious, and it will probably be difficult to avoid limiting gas consumption, especially in industry, without Russian natural gas this winter. But this is the reality that most EU countries currently face.

The situation in Poland is exacerbated by a shortage of coal, which is at record prices. Given that coal is used to heat homes, this has already become a huge social problem that could have serious political implications.

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How do you feel about the reluctance of governments in southern Europe, such as Portugal, to accept the demands of Brussels in the energy sector, arguing that it is not your fault that the rest of Europe has not got rid of its energy dependence on Russia?

Well, in the political sense, of course, it’s a shame, considering that solidarity should be one of the main basic values ​​of our union. But, of course, as a politician, I can understand this reluctance and its reasons, especially since one of the countries that suffer the most is Germany, which has been one of the most staunch supporters of “energy interdependence” with Russia. But energy commodities are global, and their scarcity will have long-term consequences for all of us, whether it be Portugal or Poland, and a sense of “gloating” [alegria com o infortúnio de outros, em alemão] should be abandoned very quickly. But the lesson of this crisis can give strength and courage to the less prosperous states of eastern and southern Europe, showing that even large and rich countries like Germany are not immune to bad strategies and decisions. I hope that learning this lesson will help curb national pride and strengthen the EU as a whole.

What do you think of Emmanuel Macron’s tendency to call for dialogue with the Kremlin?

France has a long history of dialogue with Moscow, which President Macron is trying to build on. Because of this history, Paris always tries to stay active. This activity is not bad, and even commendable, if accompanied by a broader approach to obtaining support and consultation from the rest of the EU and the US. I cannot confirm whether Macron made such an effort to coordinate his actions with other major players in the West.

In general, it seems to me that Paris, like Berlin, overestimated its capabilities in the fight against Putin and the situation in Ukraine. What matters to Putin today is pure power in its most basic sense, and he sees Russia playing at the same level as the US and China. Relations with Paris and Berlin are useful in an economic sense, but in a political sense for Russia this is less important than relations with Turkey and Israel. So I wasn’t surprised to see Putin yawn during conversations with Macron or Scholz. In other words, from Putin’s point of view, Macron can mediate or put pressure on Zelensky, but ultimately he cannot deliver what Putin wanted from Ukraine. Therefore, their efforts are in vain, despite the most altruistic aspirations of the French President.

In your opinion, is there any other way to end this conflict other than a complete victory for Ukraine? And if so, how far should Ukrainian forces go? Should they try to take the entire Donbass? Krymer? Even an advance in Russia?

There are many scenarios for the end of the war in Ukraine, up to the total victory of Ukraine or Russia. All of them are plausible, but some are less likely than others. The important question is what would be an acceptable outcome for Kyiv. I am not afraid of what would be acceptable to Moscow, Putin is able to change the course of his propaganda in order to present almost any result as a success.

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I am sure that Kyiv will make at least one big effort, a big offensive, to try to win back the territories in the south, in the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye. These are territories recently occupied by Russia, which are of great economic and political importance for Ukraine, including the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

If they could do it militarily, forcing the Russians to retreat to Crimea and the Donbass to the east would be a huge success and probably the biggest success Kyiv could ever achieve. It is hard to imagine that Ukraine will be able to militarily retake Crimea, which after 2014 has become a stronghold of Russia. I am also not sure that the recapture of the entire Donetsk and Lugansk regions cost human lives, but this is up to the Ukrainians. In other words, if the Ukrainians, with the support of Western weapons, were able to push the Russians more or less to the pre-February 24 borders, and the Russian army could not launch a counteroffensive, this could create the basic conditions for a ceasefire. .-longer fire.

On the other hand, if the expected Ukrainian counter-offensive fails, and Kyiv suffers huge human and material losses, not achieving its strategic goals in the south, this will also create some conditions for a ceasefire. But a longer peace treaty, leaving more than 20% of Ukrainian territory under Russian occupation, is unacceptable to any Ukrainian government. Unfortunately, we are far from peacetime, and the Ukrainian people will face very difficult months or even years.

Is there a way to make peace with Putin in power?
Yes there is. We can’t replace Putin with someone nice, and peace agreements are usually signed with enemies, not friends. The international community must enforce such a peace agreement and guarantee Ukraine’s future security. We cannot allow Putin to rebuild his military power in a few years and decide to start a new war to take over all of Ukraine.

However, do you see Putin leaving power soon?
Only citizens of Russia can answer this question. Among the factors that could undermine Putin’s position in the long term, above all, the deep economic crisis. In the short term, this will be the need for compulsory military conscription and the resulting youth protests, especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Or an uprising of generals who understand that this war is pointless and are afraid of being arrested for lack of success. Or maybe even shares of oligarchs close to Putin who are losing their financial empires.

I do not believe that information about Putin’s health is collapsing. He is turning 70 and probably less healthy than he would like to be, but healthier than we would like.



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Italy’s exit forecasts bring right-wing coalition victory

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Exit forecasts in Italy point to a right-wing coalition victory, with Georgia Meloni’s far-right Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) party winning the most votes.

If the victory is confirmed, it will be the first time that the Italian government has far-right members. In addition, this may be the first time that a woman has headed the Italian government.

Operating Systems first official results legislation should only be known this Monday morning.

[Última atualização às 23:55 de 25-09-2022]

Due to partisan dispersion, no party can get a majority enough to govern alone.

The right has reached a coalition deal that could bring Meloni to power, along with former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia party and Matteo Salvini’s Anti-Immigration Liga.

According to the first predictions the second place was taken by the Democratic PartyEnrico Letta, with 17% against 21% of the vote.

Predictions of party results:

  • Siblings from Italy: 22% to 26%
  • Democratic Party: 17% to 21%
  • Five Star Movement: 13.5% to 17.5%
  • Northern League: from 8.5% to 12.5%
  • Share – Viva Italy: from 6.5% to 8.5%
  • Italian Strength: 6% to 8%
  • Left/Green Alliance: 3% to 5%
  • + Europe: 2.5% and 4.5%
  • Italevit: 0.5% and 2.5%
  • We Moderates: 0.5% to 2.5%
  • Democratic Center: 0% to 2%
  • Others: 4% to 6%

Forecasts of coalition results:

  • Centre-Right: 41%-45%
  • Left Center: 25.5%-29.5%
  • 5 stars Movement: 13.5%-17.5%

Number of abstentions

According to the Ministry of the Interior, at 23:00, when the polls closed in Italy, the turnout was 64%, which means the level about 36% abstained. If these values ​​are confirmed, it will be an increase of nine percentage points compared to 2018.

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Seats in the Senate

A centre-right coalition is preparing to take control of the Italian Senate after the general election. providing from 111 to 131 seats in the Upper House.

The centre-left should have 33 to 53 senators, the 5 Star Movement (M5S) 14 to 34, and the third centrist pole Azione-Italia Viva four to 12 seats, according to an exit poll cited by ANSA.

More than 50 million Italians were called to vote in this legislative election.

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Russia vows to correct ‘mistakes’ after calling sick, elderly and students

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When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday a partial mobilization of reservists for the conflict in Ukraine, he said that only people with “appropriate” military knowledge or experience would be called up.

But many expressed indignation after cases surfaced, sometimes absurd, about the call-up of people unfit for service.

In the Volgograd region, a training center sent home a 63-year-old retired military man with diabetes and neurological problems.

In the same area, the director of a small rural school, 58-year-old Alexander Faltin, received a summons despite his lack of military experience.

His daughter posted the video on social media, which quickly went viral. After that, he managed to return home, having familiarized himself with the documents, the RIA Novosti agency reports.

Senate Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko asked this Sunday to pay close attention to mobilization campaigns.

“Mistakes of mobilization (…) cause a strong reaction in society, and rightly so,” he wrote on Telegram.

These mistakes are yet another example of the logistical problems that have arisen since Russia’s offensive into Ukraine began in February. On Saturday, Russia announced the replacement of its top general in charge of logistics in the midst of a mobilization campaign.

However, the authorities present the mobilization of the theoretically freed as isolated cases – but even in this case, the consequences must be taken into account.

Valery Fadeev, chairman of the Kremlin’s human rights council, urged Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to “solve the problems urgently” so as not to “undermine the people’s trust.”

In support of what happened, he cited several cases, such as the recruitment of 70 parents from large families in the eastern region of Buryatia and nurses and midwives without military training.

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Fadeev said they were all summoned “under the threat of a criminal court” and also criticized those who “distribute subpoenas at two in the morning, as if they were taking everyone as deserters,” which causes “dissatisfaction,” he warned.

Several students told AFP they received calls despite authorities promising not to include them in the mobilization campaign.

On Saturday, Putin signed a decree confirming that students from vocational and higher educational institutions are exempt from mobilization.

Another situation that has generated controversy is the case of protesters against the offensive in Ukraine who received mobilization orders during their detention. The Kremlin said there was “nothing illegal” in these cases.

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‘I never thought I’d get out alive’: soldier captured in Ukraine returns home after five months of torture – War in Ukraine

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Former British POW captured in the East Ukraine by Russian troops came back home. “I never thought I’d get out of there alive,” he said. Sun.

Aiden, 28, finally returned home last Thursday after five months of torture and exploitation, including a death sentence after a mock trial in Donetsk, Russia.

According to a volunteer born in Nottinghamshire, England, the moment when a Russian officer stabbed him and smiled. “The officer was smoking a cigarette and knelt down in front of me to ask, “Do you know who I am?” I said no, and he replied in Russian: “I am your death,” Aiden said. Sun. At this point, the British soldier was stabbed several times in the back.

During the assault, Aiden said he was asked if he wanted a quick death or a beautiful death. “A quick death,” he replied. “No, you will die a beautiful death, and I will take care of it,” the Russian soldier emphasized.

British Volunteer Battalion surrendered to Russian forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, in April, after weeks of intense fighting. After the meal was over and he knew he was going to give up, A.Eden called his mother and girlfriend and said: “Despite everything, we’ll see each other again.”

After the surrender, a group of British hostages were forced to listen to Soviet anthems at a very high volume.

The Nottinghamshire-born volunteer said he was punched in the face when he told the kidnappers he was British.

Aiden’s mother Angela Wood was even contacted several times by Aiden’s kidnappers, but she refused to intimidate her.

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