It was appropriate enough that Warsaw should host a conference on the theme of Intermarium, the idea being primarily of Polish origin and promoted heavily by Polish interwar leader Józef Piłsudski, who believed that rebuilding Polish independence was not the sole action of one country and that is was in the interests of a chain of independent states to pool their aspirations. His fears for the nations standing alone, sandwiched between Germany and Russia were, as it turned out, entirely justified – in the area which became Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands. If Intermarium for the 20th century was a Poland-centred concept, Intermarium for the 21st century would be a Ukraine-focused enterprise. For Ukraine now, as for Poland then, this is a question of the country’s survival as a state. As keynote speaker Andreas Umland of the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Co-operation in Kyiv elaborated, Ukraine is also uniquely significant in the Baltic-Black Sea region as events there have an effect beyond the non-EU/NATO, the so-called “grey zone”. The difficulty at present of evaluating the concept is that the Intermarium, at this stage, is no more than an idea.
July 6, 2017 - Jonathan Hibberd