Saturday, November 25, 2006

What’s the Russian beef with Polish meat?


Poland vetoes Russian-EU deal because Moscow maintains a ban on importing Polish food products.

The Polish-Russian meat war is the latest in a long line of post-Cold War conflicts between the two countries. Relations are as rancid as rotting chicken. Moscow banned the import of Polish food products last year, claiming that Polish vetenary standards are poor and Warsaw is doing little to stop cross border meat smuggling. Poland, and the EU, say that food health standards have ‘improved’ and the meat ban should get the chop.

So relations are frosty to Poland’s east, but they are not too warm on the western border, either. The German government coordinator for German-Russian relations said of Poland vetoing a special cooperation pact between Russia and the EU at the current Helsinki Summit this week:

"The Polish leadership is acting against Russia with a high degree of irrationality. Poland could better carry through its interests within the framework of the European Union."

There looks like there will be a compromise on both sides, but not soon enough to save the doomed Helsinki Summit.

But there is another reason why Polish government members should be nice to Russia. One of Moscow’s most successful exports seems to be radioactive poisons. If I were the Kaczynski brothers I would be taking a second look at what’s on their weekend pork cutlet, remembering that the name of the substance that killed Alexander Litvinenko in London is Polonium 210, named after the country of birth of Polish scientist Marie Sklodowska Curie.

56 comments:

opamp said...

beatroot,

Actually, Mme Curie's maiden name was Skłodowska, not SkłAdowska (but the original articale spells it wrong, so you are excused). Her name is also sometimes written Curie-Skłodowska (however, at least in Poland, decreasingly so), for historical reasons, contrary to the Polish custom of putting the maiden name first.

Next, polonium was not named after Maria; it has been discovered by the Curies and named in honor of Maria's homeland.

As a side note, a Curie (Ci) is also a commonly used radioactivity unit. 1 Ci is approximately the radioactivity of 1 gram of radium-226, radium being another element Maria discovered.

beatroot said...

Indeed you are correct. But it wasn;t the articles fault it was mine when I typed in Skladowska into google to get a link...

I have fixed it..and you are also right, of course, that polonium was not named after her (otherwise it would be called Sklodoskaium)....obviously the sentence should have read differwently - again I have fixed it in the text.

beatroot said...

When I put Marie SkAdowska Curie in google it comes up with 404 entries – some of them serious essays. So a common mistake. I always thought her name was spelt with an A. You see, Geez, I am learning all the time!

jannovak57 said...

The German government say Poland should tow the EU line on Russia or face a situation where “Warsaw’s attitude will cause Poland’s self-isolation”. The new definition of self-isolation works this way, with the forming of a French-German-Russian axis the status quo in Europe turns upside down and Poland has nowhere to turn.

The Germans and French assume a leadership role in EU, based currently on cynical self-interest that’s devoid of any principals.

Russia’s price for the new partnership between the European Union and Russia is, stay clear of our internal affairs and don’t get in our way when we pressure our neighbours.

Putin has turned Russia into an authoritarian state that feels it has the right to re-establish its dominance over the former Soviet Republics by any means. As the EU grows more dependent on Russian energy, Russian influence will grow correspondingly.

As the Germans have orchestrated folly for Europe twice in the last century, they seem to be creatures of habit in this century.

opamp said...

The Germans and French assume a leadership role in EU, based currently on cynical self-interest that’s devoid of any principals.

Uh, no. The EU has been historically built around a French-German core so they believe that they are the natural leaders of the pack. Therefore they don't like it when we have a different opinion.

I would like to see the Eastern EU countries (from Estonia to Bulgaria) develop a common policy. It would create a very needed and strong (10 out of 27 members!) counterbalance to the French-German ambitions.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on now. That radioactive poison could have come from anywhere. The corner drugstore, the newspaper kiosk, E-bay....

Why the haste to blame it all on Russia?

beatroot said...

That radioactive poison could only have come from a nuclear reactor. It is the waste product from processing uranium. It is only kept in very controlled condition usually connected to State facilities. It is very very difficult to get access to.

You will not be fidning it in Wallmart.

Jannovak57 said...

Political murder by poison is a trademark of the Russian security services and it’s predecessor the KGB.

From the "elimination" of Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera in 1959 to Saudi-born financier of the Chechen resistance, Omar ibn Khattab, died in 2002 after opening a poisoned letter.

As much as Litvinenko's death may point to the Russian security services there will be no smoking gun evidence unless there is a defection.

Before the assassin gets too carried away with professional satisfaction he should contemplate the history of how Moscow deals with people who knew too much.

beatroot said...

What is not been reported much in the west is that Alexander Litvinenko was…well, a bit of a kook. He has certainly made some weird accusations against Putin. Russia is home to al-Qaida training camps etc.

Hektor said...

Interesting posts here. The point about the French/German axis is interesting - they're leading the EU into trouble by cuddling up to the Russian bear. The only man that got anything out of the German/Russian friendship is the former German PM.

Perhaps the reason that the FSB doesn't like Polish meat is that it's very difficult to hide dodgy substances in it.

jannovak57 said...

Hektor said: “Perhaps the reason that the FSB doesn't like Polish meat is that it's very difficult to hide dodgy substances in it.”
It’s not Polish meat; it’s Polish democracy (as imperfect as it is) that can’t be stomached by Russia’s ruling circles. They hate and despise Poland’s freedom and economic advances as it gives people in Russia subversive ideas.
The rulers of the Kremlin function on two concepts incompatible with western thinking, they believe themselves exempt from both accountability to their people and submission to the rule of law.
The Litvinenko affair could have been avoided, if the alarm bells were sounded a lot earlier. The Russian secret services had been given carte blanche by recent legal changes allowing them to fight terrorism abroad.
Key to the legal changes is the definition of terrorism, which includes political crimes?
After the upper house of parliament allowed the president to use the special units supposedly to fight terrorism abroad, the secret services haven't held back.
Whether Mr. Putin directly ordered the assassination is going to remain a question, it’s becoming clear he authored the conditions that led to it.
Sometime ago human rights groups start to express concerns about these changes, and were ignored by western governments and media.
Thus far Mr. Putin’s legacy will be moving Russia from a frail and brief democracy to an authoritarian state. By the time he leaves office in 24 months (according to him), Russia could be sitting in a grey zone between authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

beatroot said...

But he is very popular, Jan. Russians would rather have stability, people get paid on time, that kind of thing. They are not too bothered about whether he brings yet another part of the media under state control. Sad, but true...

Anonymous said...

russians are to blame.
everyone get over it
your evil. we get it
you can stop now

Anonymous said...

poland=<3
russia=die

Anonymous said...

"But he is very popular, Jan. Russians would rather have stability, people get paid on time, that kind of thing. They are not too bothered about whether he brings yet another part of the media under state control. Sad, but true..."

Well, in Russia most of the population is well aware of the fact that they should not trust everything they hear on the news. From what I see in these comments, it seems to me that you guys honestly believe every word you hear on TV, and honestly believe all the steriotypes they teach you. Why do you say "Russians" would do this and that.."they" are such and such, whatever..We are all different, please don't generalize like that, and I don't know a single Russian who hates Poland or Polish people, eventhough we are told all kinds of tings on TV.

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