Convenors: Stanley Bill and Rory Finnin
Sidney Sussex College
In December 1991, Poland was the first state to recognise Ukraine’s independence. This moment represented the culmination of a consistent Polish policy toward its eastern neighbours, first developed by Jerzy Giedroyc, Juliusz Mieroszewski and other thinkers associated with the émigré journal Kultura. It was later adopted by influential members of the Solidarity movement who would shape Polish foreign policy after 1989. The essence of the Kultura doctrine lay in a pragmatic acceptance of the post-Yalta status quo with respect to borders; a recognition of the national subjectivity and sovereignty of Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus; a normalisation of relations with Russia; and a general exclusion of contentious historical questions from political negotiations. The past could not offer the key to the future, at least not in the short term.