poland norway
Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki, who infamously boasted in late March about how his country set the global standard for the Russophobic form of fascism, is enraged that Poland has had to pay more for gas from nearby Norway. He demanded that Oslo share its so-called "excess profits" with Warsaw and Kiev but was rebuked. This comes shortly after Poland decided not to comply with President Putin's geo-economic judo move to pay for Russian gas in rubles and will thus become disproportionately dependent on Scandinavian supplies upon the completion of the "Baltic Pipe" to the North Sea this fall.

It also follows Poland and Ukraine merging into a de facto confederation as evidenced by the details shared by Presidents Duda and Zelensky during the former's address to the Rada last weekend. Even though the Polish leader suggested that some of Russia's $300 billion in stolen foreign assets be redirected towards that former Soviet Republic's reconstruction, it seems as though those who seized these funds aren't interested in sharing all that much otherwise Morawiecki wouldn't have demanded that Norway partially foot the bill.

Moreover, Zelensky told the attendees of this week's Davos Summit that they can literally take over "a particular region of Ukraine, city, community or industry", which means that his Polish patrons won't have a monopoly on Ukraine's reconstruction. To the contrary, its US-led Western partners will likely compete very intensely with Warsaw over this bonanza, hence why they're seemingly reluctant to share Russia's stolen assets with Poland. They'd rather keep as much as they can for themselves in order to "invest" in their desired "particular region of Ukraine, city, community or industry."

To be sure, that doesn't necessarily mean that Polish taxpayers will be tasked with reconstructing that country, but just that their government won't have the hegemonic influence over Ukraine that it expected when Duda announced their de facto confederation last weekend. Put another way, Zelensky played his patron by preemptively averting disproportionate dependence on Poland by letting others literally take over parts of his country. This observation suggests that he doesn't entirely trust the Poles, which is understandable because they're suspected of having territorial designs on his country.

His reluctance to hand over all of Ukraine exclusively to Poland like Duda presumed was part of their de facto confederation deal adds credence to speculation that some level of tension exists between these formal allies. It might not be significant enough to lead to any public problems between them, but it's still capable of influencing Zelensky into pragmatically averting any disproportionate dependence on his neighbor. Poland likely fears that something's gone wrong with their de facto confederation and that's why its Prime Minister is demanding that Norway partially subsidize this geopolitical project.

Warsaw now knows that Kiev won't completely surrender itself to Poland but instead wants that country's allies to compete with it over Ukraine's reconstruction. There presumably were barely, if any, Russian foreign assets in Poland prior to the onset of Moscow's ongoing special military operation there so Warsaw likely can't rely on those funds for outbidding its US-led Western partners who probably stole the lion's share of them. That places Poland in a very uncompetitive economic-financial position in Ukraine since it can't afford to spend the same sum as others on buying influence there.

The Polish people also probably wouldn't be happy with paying more in taxes just to have their hard-earned funds siphoned off to the same country that Transparency International ranked as the most corrupt in Europe when they're already paying a lot as it is to subsidize the de facto citizenship rights afforded to Ukrainians in their country. This means that nothing is going according to plan for Poland, which suggests that it was pushed by others into merging into a de facto confederation with Ukraine despite not even being able to reap any significant benefits from this other than illusory prestige.
Andrew Korybko American political analyst