Polish and Australian think-tanks on Eastern policy
Speaking of the impact the Ukraine crisis is having on the policies of major powers in the Asia-Pacific region, Kyle Wilson of the Centre for European Policy Studies emphasized that the Australian example showed that regional security could become very important for countries that were geographically distant from the epicentre of the crisis. “The shooting down of the Malaysian flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, which killed 38 Australian citizens, has changed overnight the way the conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s aggression are viewed by Australians, which has in turn strongly influenced the policy of Tony Abbott’s government,” he noted.
According to the deputy director of the Centre for Eastern Studies, Adam Eberhardt, one of the key factors contributing to the destabilisation of and Russia’s intervention in eastern Ukraine was the fact that for many years the majority of Western countries had been accepting President Putin’s assertive policy.
Polish Ambassador Paweł Milewski, the discussion’s moderator, pointed out that Poland and Australia share a similar outlook on threats to international security and order. He also stressed that Australia, which is one of NATO’s closest partners and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, makes an important contribution to and is involved in strengthening the existing international order.
Cyclic discussions at the expert level are a good complement to Polish-Australian relations and political consultations, which have become much more frequent over the past dozen or so months. This year’s visits by Australia’s top diplomat Julie Bishop to Poland, and Poland’s Senate Marshal Bogdan Borusewicz to Australia are testament to the new momentum in Polish-Australian relations.