Georgia and Poland. A century-long relationship
“We are here to fight. For the first time in a very long time, our neighbor opened his face, which we have known for several centuries. Our neighbor believes that neighboring peoples must obey. In response, we say no! Because we know that today it is Georgia, tomorrow it will be Ukraine, the Baltic countries, and then it will be the turn of my country – Poland! “- Lech Kaczynski, 2008.
Georgian-Polish relations can be considered a rare case when a partner is ready to fight for your freedom at the cost of his own life. The self-sacrifice of the former Polish president during the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, support and assistance to the Georgian people occupies a special place in the modern history of Georgia.
Relations between Poland and Georgia began in 1919, when Poland recognized the independence of Georgia. At the beginning of 1921, the issue of creating a Georgian-Polish military alliance was considered, according to which Poland would transfer military equipment to Georgia, and Georgian officers would serve in the Polish army on a contract basis. The Russian occupation-annexation froze cooperation between the two states and made it impossible to create a military alliance. However, Poland became a haven for Georgian officers and soldiers. According to the data of 1934, 54 Georgian officers and 9 generals served in the army of the Second Polish Republic.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of independence, Georgia began to restore diplomatic relations. Georgian-Polish relations have been resumed since 1992. Poland recognizes the independence and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders. Poland is also actively involved in Georgia’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic alliance. Today Poland is a state of contacts between NATO and Georgia.
Poland is actively putting the issue of Georgia on NATO’s agenda and constantly emphasizes the Russian occupation. In the early 1990s, when Poland expressed a desire to join NATO, Russia was outraged. Georgia also follows the path of Poland, with the only difference that Russia occupied the territory of Georgia. However, this circumstance is not an obstacle to NATO membership. The only way for the post-Soviet countries to avoid the threat from Russia is to integrate into the Euro-Atlantic Alliance. Poland is one of the countries actively supporting the enlargement of the European Union and NATO.
Salome Tsereteli, GSAC
The material was written within the framework of the media training project by Vladislav Rachkevich, implemented by GSAC with the support of the Polish Embassy in Georgia