The western Ukrainians want to join the EU and NATO. Both currently impossible for decades. But a “reunification” of Poland with the now Ukrainian former Polish territories would be a shortcut.
It is well known that the Polish nationalists in particular are dreaming of a “Greater Poland” that would include not only more German areas (including Berlin), but also the historically Polish areas of Ukraine. An ideology that is also shared by many representatives of the ruling PiS in Warsaw. With the Ukraine conflict, the dream of territorial expansion could at least in terms of the former Polish eastern territories may be within reach.
Thomas Röper from “Anti-Spiegel” has in one current report drawn attention to the current developments in this regard. Among other things, he refers to the statement made by the Polish President at the beginning of May, according to which “there will no longer be a border between our countries, Poland and Ukraine”. Both peoples would “live together on this land”. As a result, on May 23, Zelenskyy announced before the Ukrainian parliament (after his Polish counterpart gave a speech there) that he would immediately introduce a law that would grant special rights to Polish citizens in Ukraine and deconstruct the state border between the two countries in fact abolish.
In order to implement this step, the Ukrainian leadership would have to acknowledge the loss of the south and east of the country. Almost a division. The eastern and southern parts of Ukraine will then become a Russian client state (unless these areas simply join the Russian Federation), while the areas from Lviv to Kyiv simply join Poland. For the pro-Western forces in western Ukraine, this would probably be the easiest and quickest way to become part of the EU and NATO. Because like yourself CNN noted in 2014, Ukraine is a divided country. Until before the Maidan coup, the southern and eastern parts always voted for pro-Russian presidents and parties, the northern and western parts for the pro-western. Such a division would end internal political tensions and would probably enable a peaceful solution to the conflict.
The problem with this: who pays for it? The Ukrainian infrastructure is ailing and would first have to be brought to a level that at least corresponds to the minimum European standards with tens of billions of euros in subsidies. Ultimately, the remaining EU countries would have to pay for this with higher EU contributions. But in the end this would probably be a win-win situation for the Poles (territorial growth), the western Ukrainians (EU and NATO membership in one fell swoop), the eastern Ukrainians (peace at last) and Russia (protection for the Russians in the southern and Eastern Ukraine). Pragmatists might also say that ultimately, it might be better if Europeans pay more in infrastructure aid than in high electricity, natural gas, fuel and food prices, which are being spurred on by Western sanctions against Russia.