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Poland, Baltics must 'close ranks' against Russia, Belarus: PM

17.09.2021 22:00
Poland’s prime minister on Friday said his country must close ranks with its Baltic allies against Russia’s “neo-imperial urges” and "a wave of disinformation, propaganda and cyberattacks" from Moscow and Minsk.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (right) speaks at a joint news conference with his Lithuanian counterpart Ingrida imonyt in Warsaw on Friday.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (right) speaks at a joint news conference with his Lithuanian counterpart Ingrida Šimonytė in Warsaw on Friday. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Mateusz Morawiecki was speaking as he hosted Lithuanian government ministers on a visit to Warsaw for wide-ranging consultations with their Polish counterparts amid tensions on the European Union's border with Belarus.

The talks continued throughout the day, led by Morawiecki and his Lithuanian counterpart Ingrida Šimonytė, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Afterwards, at a joint news conference with ŠimonytėMorawiecki noted the meeting was taking place 82 years after the Soviet Union invaded Poland in the early days of World War II, on September 17, 1939.

'The devil never sleeps'

“The devil never sleeps,” Morawiecki warned as he briefed reporters on the outcome of the talks.

"Some neo-imperial urges are stirring, and so Poland, as well as the Baltic states, especially Lithuania, cannot be passive," he said, as quoted by the state PAP news agency. "We must be very active and work with each other as best we can.”

While observing that peace was “an extremely brittle blessing," Morawiecki said Russia was flexing its muscles, "as evidenced by" its recent Zapad-2021 military exercises that also involved Belarusian troops. Meanwhile, Belarus "is trying to engineer a migrant crisis on our border,” he added.

He also spoke of "a wave of disinformation, propaganda and cyberattacks" originating from the two countries.

He stated: “Each such angry growl from the Kremlin or from Minsk must make us close our ranks, and I am positive that today’s intergovernmental consultations deepened our bond.”

Unity 'sorely needed'

Morawiecki announced that he and Šimonytė had signed a statement on bilateral cooperation, and added that Polish-Lithuanian unity was "sorely needed by the European Union as a whole.”

He also told reporters that Warsaw and Vilnius had agreed to strike a common position in fields such as energy, climate, culture, science and education.

Morawiecki said bilateral economic ties were becoming "ever closer," helped by new infrastructure projects, such as the "Via Baltica and Via Carpathia" roads.

“If Poland and Lithuania speak with a shared voice, it will also be better heard in Washington and Brussels,” he concluded.

Friday’s intergovernmental talks focused mainly on European affairs and border security, the PAP news agency reported.

Apart from the two prime ministers, the talks involved Polish and Lithuanian Cabinet ministers in charge of defence, climate and environmental policies, family and social policies, interior affairs, infrastructure, health, finance, education and science, according to the Polish news agency.


Source: IAR, PAP