The former president of Poland from 1990 to 1995 and founder of the Solidarity movement, during a pro-European Union demonstration in Gdansk, northern Poland, on 10 October 2021. MATEUSZ SLODKOWSKI / AFP

For the former Polish president and founder of Solidarnosc, interviewed by LCI, world security would pass through the organization of a “revolt of the peoples” who have been “annexed” by Russia.

Former president of Poland and historical figure in the fight against the USSR, Lech Walesa urged the West to go beyond the liberation of Ukraine, under the Russian military offensive since the end of February. In an exceptional interview with LCI on Friday, he also asked the founder of the Solidarity movement “Liberating Russia”.

“Even if Ukraine wins this war, in five years we will have the same thing, in ten years we will see another Putin appear”, he warned. To avoid this scenario, “Today we must force this change in the political system, otherwise we must organize a revolt of the peoplesRussians, suggests the former Polish president.

Unless there is a complete change of political regime in Moscow, world security could therefore only be ensured by the dismemberment of present-day Russia, which in its eyes has remained imperial: “There are 60 peoples who have been annexed like the Ukrainians today. It would be necessary to raise these peoples who were annexed to Russia (…). Either change the Russian political system or bring it back to a population of less than 50 million“The Russian Federation currently has 144 million inhabitants.

While acknowledging that the West has its own interests in expanding its influence and power, it points out that it is doing so through a democratic, and therefore legitimate, path:We have to understand that the West develops its power through NATO, through the EU, by expanding, but it is through democratic means. Russia does it violently“.

For the former leader of Solidarnosc, now the world would be cut in two again: “Now there are two systems: on the one hand the democracies and NATO, which want to expand, but with democratic means, seeking the decisions of the people, and on the other hand, Russia and China, which resort to the old methods of annexation.

Lech Walesa remains harsh on the West, which he believes has been misled into believing that Russia would become harmless. According to him, this error dates back to the Gorbachev years: “Russia should have been shot down. But Gorbachev was too smart for that. We said at the time: “There was Stalin, Brezhnev, but Gorbachev is nice.” So we left them alone. Russia has been waiting for difficult times and now they want to move forward as they have for centuries and continue to annex the peoples to their empire. It was our mistake at the time. I wanted to do it differently, but they didn’t let me.

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