Favoring Chechen militants: What will it lead to?

There is a saying in Russia which goes: I'll put out an eye so that my mother-in-law has a one-eyed son-in-law. That's what comes to mind when one reads about Poland's recent unfriendly actions in respect of Russia. Despite a note from the Russian foreign ministry, the Polish authorities refused to shut down a representative office of Chechen separatists, allowing the "embassy" of the Maskhadov people to stay on its premises at the Palace of Culture in the center of Warsaw. Furthermore, Polish officials declared they would not extradite those of the Chechen militants who escaped from Russia on the ground the authorities have no proof of their involvement with terrorist organizations. All that was done despite Russia's warnings that there were connections between Chechen separatists and international terrorist centers. It seems like the purpose of Warsaw's actions is to do Russia a bad turn, even if it means harm to itself as well.

The events described are taking place in the wake of the tragedy at Moscow's Theater Center in Dubrovka and the kamikaze attack on the House of Government in Grozny, which killed dozens of innocent people. Both monstrosities were unanimously condemned worldwide.

Warsaw, however, does not seem to take heed of what is happening in the world. Representatives of the so-called Republic of Ichkeria, which used to run offices in many European countries and in the USA, were shown the door after the aforementioned terrorist acts. The heads of all these countries realized, although somewhat late, the danger of Chechen extremism.

The Polish protectors of Chechen separatists had better recall the outcome of Georgia's "sympathy" towards Chechen militants. On that occasion, too, the authorities defended "innocent refugees" from Chechnya, as they called them. And what did it lead to? Chechen militants, who entrenched themselves in the Pankisi Gorge, began setting up strong points and training camps for terrorists from other countries. Eventually, the gorge became an enclave of banditry and international terrorism. Here's a more recent example. The Islamic fanatics that were arrested in France while trying to engineer terrorist acts against Russian representative offices testified they had undergone training first in Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and then, after the fall of the Taleban regime, in Chechen militant bases in the Pankisi Gorge, alongside several groups of kamikazes preparing to be transferred to Belgium, Holland, Italy, Britain and other European countries. (It doesn't take a genius to deduce what for.) Another example. In that same Pankisi Gorge, law enforcers captured several Chechen terrorists responsible for explosions in apartment buildings in Russia and other terrorist acts against the Russian population. The operation was conducted in accordance with an agreement reached between presidents Vladimir Putin and Edward Shevardnadze.

That was how Chechen militants said thanks to the hospitality of the Georgian authorities. No one is able to guarantee that nothing of the kind will happen in Poland, that terrorist bases, to say nothing of banal criminal groups, won't be set up in Polish cities.

Political flirt with militants is fraught with consequences of the kind that we already saw in other countries. It is simply unwise to ignore their experience.

And there's also the fact that Warsaw's manner of favoring Chechen separatists can hardly add to the strengthening of Russian-Polish cooperation and interaction in various spheres.

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Author`s name Editorial Team