West should either change Russia’s ‘political system’ or cause massive uprising, says Lech Walesa
The world will never be safe as long as modern Russia exists, former Polish President Lech Walesa told French TV channel LCI on Friday, saying Russia is “imperial” in nature and will always seek to “continue to annex peoples.”
Even if Western nations helped Ukraine win its ongoing conflict with Moscow, they would still fail to make the world a safer place, Walesa said, adding that the international community would potentially see another conflict involving Russia. “in five years.” “In ten years, we will see another Putin emerge”, he added, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is increasingly portrayed as an autocratic strongman by Western officials and the media.
To avoid such a development, the West “you have to force [a] change of political regime in Russia, believes the former Polish president. If this proves impossible, “organize an uprising” would be another option, he said.
According to Walesa, Russia still has “60 peoples, who were annexed like the Ukrainians [are being annexed] today.” It would be “necessary to incite these peoples… to action” bring the Russian population “return to less than 50 million”, said the former president, pointing to a possible forced disintegration of modern Russia. According to the latest population census held in 2021, Russia’s population currently stands at around 147 million people, state statistics agency Rosstat said in April.
Walesa, co-founder of the Solidarity movement which overthrew the socialist government in Poland, also argued that the West should have “bring down Russia” but he eventually fell in love with the last Soviet leader, the positive image of Mikhail Gorbachev, and blew his luck.
“We should have brought down Russia. But Gorbachev was too smart. We said to ourselves at the time: ‘There was Stalin, Brezhnev, but Gorbachev is nice'” Walesa said, adding that “It was our mistake then.” According to the former Polish leader, Russia was allowed to “wait until the end of” difficult times and “continue as they have done for centuries and continue to annex people to their empire.”
The former Polish president also defended NATO and EU enlargement saying that although the West has its own interests and seeks to exert its influence and power, it does. “democratically”.
“There are two systems now: … the democracies and NATO, which want to expand but [do so] by democratic means, by seeking the approval of the people, [and] … Russia and China, which resorted to the old methods of annexation,” he said.
Walesa, who served as president between 1990 and 1995, has recently become one of Russia’s fiercest critics. In early February, even before the start of Russian military action in Ukraine, the former Polish leader called on the world to “mobilize” for a “immediate response” Russia’s attack on Ukraine. At the time, he said that an attack on kyiv by Russia should be followed by a an attack on Moscow.
At the beginning of February, Walesa was still calling Russia “a great country” it’s just ” has problems “. He also admitted that he “respected Putin very much and supported him.”