20:13 GMT +318 June 2018
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    Pandora's Box

    'Pandora's Box': Warsaw Demands for Reparations Could 'Bury Polish-German Ties'

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    Poland is deliberately seeking conflict with Germany by demanding reparations from Berlin for damages inflicted during WWII, research fellow with the European Center for Geopolitical Studies Tomasz Jankowski told Sputnik Polska, adding that Poland's unwillingness to close the subject might be related to Washington's influence.

    The only goal of Polish demands on Germany over WWII reparations is the deterioration of bilateral relations that could have drastic consequences for both countries, Tomasz Jankowski said, comparing the current situation with a "Pandora's box that will bury these relationships for many years to come."

    According to the expert, a scenario in which Polish claims are satisfied is highly unlikely.

    "It is virtually impossible to receive these reparations, first of all, because today's Poland does not have any economic, military or geopolitical means of influencing Germany," the expert said.

    In his opinion, the arguments used by Warsaw to get the reparations may damage Poland itself as well as its western borders.

    "If the current government claims that the NDP did not have the right to refuse reparations, since it was not a legitimate state entity representing the interests of Poland, then Germany's recognition of the border with Poland along the Oder-Neisse line is illegal as well, which in turn may open the way for the German claims toward Poland," Jankowski stated.

    The expert assumed that the Polish position might be influenced by non-conservative circles in Western countries.

    "If Poland received an ‘assignment' from real power centers that are located in Washington or London, and not in Warsaw, then we can say that the government simply pays its ‘debt' and fulfills its ‘task'," the analyst stated and expressed hope that Warsaw would understand its mistake "before it's too late."

    The Polish presidential office said Tuesday that Polish President Andrzej Duda and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will discuss the issue of German World War II reparations to Poland on Thursday.

    Earlier in the day, the German Ambassador to Poland Rolf Nikel reiterated Berlin's position on German reparations to Poland, saying that the issue was formally and politically closed.

    In early August, lawmaker from Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party Arkadiusz Mularczyk said that he had sent a request to the Bureau of Research of the Polish parliament to find out whether it was possible to demand additional World War II reparations from Germany.

    Berlin, in response, said that while Germany was undoubtedly responsible for World War II in moral, political and financial senses, the issue of German reparations to Poland had already been resolved at both political and legal levels.

    Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, after the so-called Gleiwitz incident. The invasion forced France and the United Kingdom to declare war on Germany. It took Germany a bit more than a month to defeat the Polish Army and occupy the country, which was liberated by Soviet troops in 1945.


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