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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland defends Germany against migrant wave: PM

25.11.2021 19:30
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki met with Germany's outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday, and said afterwards that bilateral relations between Warsaw and Berlin were vital for the performance of the European Union and its ability to respond to crises.
Audio
  • Polish Prime Minister meets German Chancellor during his visit to Berllin
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) meet with reporters after their talks in Berlin on Thursday.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) meet with reporters after their talks in Berlin on Thursday.PAP/EPA John MacDougall

Morawiecki's Berlin visit was part of his tour of European capitals as Poland seeks to address a migrant crisis on its border with Belarus, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

Meeting with reporters alongside Merkel, the Polish prime minister said that Belarus' strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko had tried to "destabilise the EU" by "inviting" thousands of migrants to illegally cross its border.

The plan has not materialised because "Poland is defending the EU's external border, and therefore Germany, too, against a huge migrant wave," Morawiecki added.

He also told reporters that Polish-German relations were "fundamental for the cohesion of the EU" and for the bloc's ability to respond "to the crises currently happening on the edges of the EU, around Ukraine and Moldova as well as in the Western Balkans."

He argued that, in all these crises, "the strings are mainly being pulled by the Russian leader in the Kremlin."

Solidarity with Poland

Germany's Merkel voiced "full solidarity with Poland" and emphasised that "people must not be used as a means to hybrid ends."

She added that Poland's eastern border remained "under great pressure every day" and declared that her country "will be working closely with Poland" amid the migrant crisis.

Looking ahead, the Polish and German leaders agreed that further sanctions against Minsk must remain an option, including restrictions on trade, the PAP news agency reported.

Morawiecki voiced hope "there will also be reasons to ease the sanctions," while Merkel said that "the door to dialogue should always remain open."

While in Berlin, the Polish prime minister also held talks with Germany's likely next chancellor, Olaf Scholz.

The months-long migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border has escalated in recent weeks, with Poland, the European Union and its member states, as well as NATO and the United States accusing Belarus' strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating the standoff in retaliation for Western sanctions against his regime.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP