Norway and Poland just engaged in a tit-for-tat expulsion of one another’s consuls.
Oslo ordered Polish consul Slawomir Kowalski to leave the country due to what it said were numerous complaints about his behavior being unbecoming of a diplomat, while Warsaw said that it would respond in kind in a rare sign of tension between these two long-running allies. Reports suggest that Kowalski was helping Polish families keep their children after Norway’s ultra-liberal “child protection services” threatened to take them from their homes for typically exaggerated reasons such as small bruises caused by their siblings or other such examples that the state supposedly believes is proof that their parents “abused” them. The Scandinavian country has long been known for its radical approach towards this issue and would surely see Poland’s efforts to resist it as “interference in its domestic affairs” despite it being Warsaw’s diplomatic duty to protect its citizens abroad from discrimination.
It’s important to note that Poles are the largest immigrant group in Norway and that Poland is one of the country’s main export destinations, especially for energy and defense products, the first-mentioned of which is slated to increase in the future following the construction of the so-called “Baltic Pipe”. This means that both countries are caught up in a system of complex economic interdependence that could either stabilize this dispute or worsen it depending on how either party acts in the coming future. Seeing as how Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last month that his country will continue protecting the rights of Poles abroad, Kowalski’s expulsion from Norway will probably not stop Poland’s diplomatic activities in support of families unjustly discriminated against by the Norwegian authorities, thus suggesting a continuation of this diplomatic crisis.
Neither Norway nor Poland wants to back down in this dispute because of how important of an issue they regard this as being, with both countries considering it to be both a matter of prestige and sovereignty, the latter being national and personal, respectively. Oslo feels offended that Polish migrants are supposedly violating its super-strict national laws against suspected “child abuse”, while Poland believes that its citizens are unfairly having their lives ruined and their families torn apart because of the selective application of ultra-liberal policies against them. This sentiment is made even worse by the state avoiding the scourge of female genital mutilation by Muslim minority communities due to “political correctness”. As such, while Kowalski is seen as a scoundrel by his Norwegian hosts, his own Polish people regard him as a hero who did the right thing for the right reasons.
The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Feb 15, 2019:
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