Poland pursues aggressive regional project Intermarium

Summary

Polish foreign policy in Central and Eastern Europe reflects its plans to take Belarus and Ukraine under control and to create a buffer zone between Poland and Russia. In his inaugural speech, Polish president Andrzej Duda announced plans to revive Intermarium, a sanitary cordon in Eastern Europe under Poland’s aegis. This idea is actively promoted by Poland-based Belsat TV channel which broadcasts to the Belarusian population. The harsh criticism of Nazi collaborators by Belarusian writer Yakub Kolas can be applied to present-time Belarusian promoters of Polish ideas.

Disproof

This message is a conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Poland's hostile plans towards Belarus and its imperial ambitions. It is also aimed to discredit Belarusian independent media, Belsat TV channel in particular, by drawing parallels with Nazi collaborators. A series of TV programmes by Belsat TV channel, titled Intermarium, discuss Belarusian historical events rather than promote Polish imperialist ideology as alleged.

In his inaugural speech, Polish president Andrzej Duda did not voice plans to revive a buffer zone in Eastern Europe under Polish patronage, as alleged. Speaking about the importance to have good neighbourly relations, Duda said: "We have to talk to our partners in Central and Eastern Europe, to the north of the Baltic Sea basin up to the Adriatic Sea." Nowhere in his speech did the Polish president refer to a buffer zone.

The disinformation claim seems to be based on conspiratorial interpretation of the Three Seas Initiative. Among other things Duda mentioned it in his interview to the Polish Press Agency a day before inaugural speech saying: "I am thinking of establishing a partnership bloc stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black and Adriatic Seas."

The Three Seas Initiative, also known as the Baltic, Adriatic, Black Sea (BABS) Initiative, is a forum of twelve states in the European Union, located in Central and Eastern Europe: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The initiative aims to create a regional dialogue on a variety of questions affecting the member states, primarily transport, energy, and digital.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Poland plans to take over Minsk after extensive subversive activities in Belarus, that Polish authorities and population dream of taking over most of Belarus' territory, and that Russian takeover of Crimea prevented Polish coup d'état in Belarus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 159
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/07/2019
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Conspiracy, Nazi/Fascist
  • Outlet: Imhoclub.by, Sozh.info, BelVPO
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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Minsk agreements, portraying Ukraine as a primary violator of the cease-fire.

In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of EU sanctions on Russia to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, acknowledging Russia's responsibility to uphold the Agreements.

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Disproof

Recurring Kremlin narrative about nationalists in Ukraine. The article in "Moskovskyy Komsomolets" is not referring to any specific source of information.

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the association of the White Helmets with terrorism in Syria.

The claim that the White Helmets are the creation of Western intelligence work” is unsubstantiated and constitutes a groundless conspiracy theory.