OK, I get it, Poles hate Russia (at least majority of them do), they still can not reconcile themselves with the fact that Poland is not and cannot be decisive European (forget global) player and is, generally, economic and military midget. Poland is also a willing American lapdog. Poland is terrified of the Nord Stream-2. So, Mr. Morawiecki, Poland's Prime Minister, came up with an astonishing stratagem--in accordance to him, once Ukrainian gas-transport (pipe), aka GTS, system becomes irrelevant "nothing can prevent Putin from marching to Kiev" (in Polish). Now, wait a minute--I am trying to wrap my brain around Morawiecki's "logic". Make no mistake, I love Polish culture, Poland is beautiful and all that, but once things get to anything related to Russia in Poland, most of Poland's "elites" stop making any sense. It is clear that Poland will buy American expensive LNG and thus will kill whatever is left of its once substantial industry (they will, of course, blame it on Russians), but the question is--WHY would Russia "march on Kiev" once Ukraine's decrepit GTS becomes irrelevant? Serious geopolitical and military logic is usually built around clear interests--be that obtaining new territories, new wealth and, in general, something which benefits the aggressor which wants to march anywhere. Ukraine is opposite of wealth--it is a massive drain on anyone's resources, especially without workable GTS. With GTS in working conditions, at least there could be some rational, however feeble, explanation for desire to "march on Kiev". But why when it stops working?
And here is the point--despite hysterical screaming of all kinds of the so called Russian "patriots" it is patently clear that Russia was correct when not invading Ukraine during the fateful events of the Spring of 2014. Since then, everything Russia was doing in relation to Ukraine was a complete decoupling from Ukraine's fast degenerating industries, and doing EVERYTHING for bypassing Ukrainian GTS and, incidentally, Poland to deliver Russia's natural gas directly to Germany and other European customers. Moreover, the only scenario in which Russia WILL march on Kiev is if NATO will march into Ukraine, other than that, and here is the catch, Russia, frankly, doesn't give a damn about Ukraine nor her hostile population. Yes, I know, a bummer, the plan from the get go was that Russia will get bogged down in Ukraine but she did not. Those people in Ukraine who wanted to remain Russians, like LDNR republics, they took up the arms, the rest--they wanted to remain Ukrainians but with Russia's economic benefits. Sorry, this is not how it works and Russians clearly understand that they do not want nor intent to burden themselves with tens of millions of hostile Ukrainian population and deal with decrepit Ukrainian economy. I know, it was such a revelation for Ukraine when it was understood that Russians do not give a damn that it led to a cultural shock--this was not supposed to be the case, but this is precisely the case. As long as Ukraine doesn't start the war or openly plays with NATO aspirations, Russia is fine with Ukraine rotting away and, eventually, breaking up--then, well, LDNR forces may march on Kiev and eventually will reconstitute a remaining (Eastern and Southern) Ukrainian rump as new Ukraine, or Novorossia and that will be it.
Poland also in terms of her significance to Russia is approaching zero, with one exception of Poland going out of her way trying to be more American than Americans and trying to sabotage any kind of Russian-German energy integration. Nord-Stream 2 bypassing Poland (that was the idea from the get go) and what is known in Russia as the "Belt of Stupid", Poland and Baltic States, means Poland losing all those wonderful transit benefits she could have had if she would behave like a rational player, but Poland is not a rational player--hence Nord Stream 2. Once those European gas transit systems are complete, the only value of Poland for the US will be Polish Russo-phobia and possibly as US forces' pre-positioning area for theoretical attack (or containment) on Russia. That is concern for Russia but if push comes to shove and some substance hits the fan few people in Russia would be upset about rearranging stones in Polish localities where aggressive forces will be deployed. One reaps what one sows.
So, Polish "concern" about Ukrainian GTS is not about Russia "marching on Kiev"--Russians are not idiots to pay for hostile freeloaders--it is about Poland losing her relevance and leverage in European economy and political set up and realization of the fact that the Polish bet was on the losing side (yet again). Ukrainian GTS will become irrelevant one way or another and Poland will also be left with the reality of dealing with the black hole of Ukrainian migrant workers, organized crime, drug and weapons' smuggling and other "benefits" of a failed Ukrainian state Poland so enthusiastically (out of visceral hatred for Russia) helped to create. This, plus expensive American LNG. But in case Mr. Morawiecki does not understand what I am talking about and what is Russian MO, here is an example. Russia makes hostile to her nobodies, such as representatives of the "Belt of Stupid", simply irrelevant--hardly a sign of impending invasion. To gain what? A wasteland populated with freeloaders?
Here is one such Russia's response to the "Belt of Stupid". Baltic states do not like Russia, well, so be it--Russia builds her own port not to depend on those "proud" zeros--a colossal complex at Ust-Luga, not far from St. Petersburg. You see Mr. Morawiecki, no invasion or "marching"?
|Here is some part of the complex.|
So, you get the idea. Russia doesn't invade, unless is asked for it, she decouples from all kinds of psychotic entities such as Baltic States or Ukraine and goes her own way. It is akin to normal person turning away from a beggar hurling insults while sitting in the wheel chair. As Andrei Raevsky (The Saker) astutely observed when writing of nations afflicted with PBS (Pilsudski-Bandera Syndrome):
And this is exactly what Russia is doing. Poland, however, is facing 2020 when all those privileged loans and other instruments afforded to Poland to make her a shiny Eastern facade of EU coming up for repayment. Good luck. Considering the fact that Poland has very little to sell she has grim prospects for development and will have to double down selling to her masters in the US all kinds of geostrategic idiocy presented as a profundity, despite of it making no sense at all.