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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Polish government in Warsaw, facing re-election in less than a year, wants all the credit from Washington for their joint operation to sabotage the Nord Stream gas pipelines on the Baltic seabed.

It also wants to intimidate the German chancellor in Berlin, and deter both American and German officials from plotting a takeover by the Polish opposition party, Civic Platform, next year.

Blaming the Russians for the attack is their cover story. Attacking anyone who doesn’t believe it, including Poles and Germans, Warsaw officials and their supporting media claim they are dupes or agents of Russian disinformation.

Their rivals, Civic Platform (PO) politicians trailing the PiS in the polls by seven percentage points,   want Polish voters to think that no credit for the Nord Stream attack should be earned by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. They also want to divert  the Russian counter-attack from Warsaw to Washington.

“Thank you USA” was the first Polish political declaration tweeted hours after the blasts by Radoslaw Sikorski (lead image, left), the PO’s former defence and foreign minister, now a European Parliament deputy. In support and justification,  his old friend and PO ministerial colleague, Roman Giertych, warned Sikorski’s critics: “Would you nutters prefer that the Russians find us guilty?”

In Washington this week to ask for more military and financial assistance,  Zbigniew Rau, the  PiS foreign minister,  said: “Radosław Sikorski in this hybrid war between Russia and NATO countries has taken the wrong side.”

Signalling the domestic impact of the Nord Stream operation, TVP Info, controlled by the government’s broadcast agency Telewizja Polska, headlined Rau as attacking Sikorski, not the Russians for the alleged seabed attack.   “The hypothesis that Russian services are behind it is becoming more and more credible,” Rau reportedly added.  

Source: https://www.tvp.info/

Maciej Wąsik, the PiS official in charge of the Polish security services at the Interior Ministry, was more explicit. He tweeted:  

State Department officials were telling the truth, Wasik said – Sikorski was lying. The tweet reads: “US State Department spokesman on Sikorski’s statements: ‘The idea that the US was behind the Nord Stream explosions is ridiculous and is nothing more than a function of Russian disinformation.’ Sikorski. Civil Platform. Russian disinformation.”

“I don’t know if the U.S. is behind the explosion of gas pipelines in the Baltic,” commented Roman Giertych (right);  he was a deputy prime
minister in the PiS government of 2007-2007,  when Sikorski was defence minister, then foreign minister; they are reported to be friends.

Giertych tweeted: “I don’t know if the U.S. is behind the explosion of gas pipelines in the Baltic. But I do know that I’d rather the Russians think they were behind it than us. And I am very concerned that there is some rage within the Law and Justice Party against Sikorski for his tweet.  Would you nutters prefer that the Russians find us guilty?”

Source: https://twitter.com/

Giertych continued in the same vein:

Source: https://twitter.com/

This support failed to relieve Sikorski;  he has erased his tweet in support of the operation. But Giertych has continued to defend Sikorski by showing Sikorski’s wife,  Anne Applebaum,  receiving an award from the Ukrainian president in Kiev:

Source: https://twitter.com/

For the time being, the official Russian counter-attack has focused on the US role in the operation, keeping silent on the Polish one. This may change as the promised Russian government investigation decides to publish parts of the Russian intelligence records.  “I hope, “ Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in the most detailed statement to date from Moscow on Thursday afternoon, “that someone in the United States, or maybe someone in Europe — although, unfortunately, Europe in this case can no longer be counted on —  someone from among independent investigators will have a desire to clarify the involvement of the United States, its special services and all other bodies in what happened on 25-27 September of this year in the Baltic Sea.”

Zakharova is making a Russian pitch at the public opinion of the Germans – possibly the last one –  but no longer the Poles. “There is a feeling that for Europe, at an existential level, the very idea that those whom they call ‘allies’ may be behind this incident, [and that their] provocation, sabotage is unacceptable. This idea is so monstrous for them and marks the point of no return that they cannot afford other arguments than the hackneyed Russian ‘factor’. They are afraid to break away from the ‘written’, because then the whole ideology will collapse at an instant, and the terrible truth will be exposed.”

“But we have to start somewhere. Brussels will still have to explain to its citizens what they have done to their continent. With ours. This is our continent, too.”

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