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Polish PM hails 'new chapter' in bilateral ties as Germany's Scholz visits

13.12.2021 08:30
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Sunday met for talks with the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and said the meeting marked the opening of a new chapter in bilateral relations.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (L) meet with reporters after holding talks in Warsaw on Sunday.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (L) meet with reporters after holding talks in Warsaw on Sunday.PAP/EPA/Clemens Bilan

As both leaders talked to reporters afterwards, Morawiecki said the discussion had explored the situation on Poland’s eastern border, which is also the external border of the European Union and NATO, among other issues.

“I very much appreciate that Poland is one of the first countries the new chancellor has visited,” Morawiecki said.

“This is a sign that you will want to work as closely as possible with us in carrying out our projects,” he added.

Migrant crisis

Morawiecki told reporters he had explained to Scholz the “shifting tactics” of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko “with regard to the artificially created migrant crisis” on Poland’s border.

He said that the EU frontier “must be tight,” so that the bloc “is able to defend itself and decide its future fate.”

“We discussed potential sanctions which will be on the table at the next European Council in order to make the Lukashenko regime and its Kremlin principal realise that we are determined to defend our eastern border,” Morawiecki added.

Tensions around Ukraine

Morawiecki said he and Scholz had also spoken about the situation surrounding Ukraine and the issue of the contested Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. 

He said the pipeline, which is set to carry gas directly from Russia to Germany, made Kyiv, but also Warsaw and Bratislava, vulnerable to Russian blackmail, paving the way for “destabilisation on the EU’s and NATO’s eastern flank.”

“I drew the chancellor's attention at the risks of opening Nord Stream 2, and how the scenario we warned about is unfortunately coming true,” Morawiecki told reporters.

Relations in the EU

Hailing “a new chapter in Polish-German relations,” Morawiecki said Warsaw and Berlin were both “among the EU’s most active players.”

“We would like together to express a wish that all disputes are resolved as quickly as possible,” he added, referring to Poland’s dispute with Brussels over the rule of law, among other issues. 

The EU's top court in October ordered Poland to pay a daily fine of EUR 1 million for not suspending a contested disciplinary chamber for judges.  

“We want Europe to be strong, to be able to face the challenges that lie ahead, to be competitive with other regions of the world - this also depends on Polish-German relations,” Morawiecki said.

Meanwhile, Scholz said “it would be good” if Poland and the European Commission found “a pragmatic solution” to the rule of law controversy, in line with the EU’s “core values of the rule of law and democracy,” Polish state news agency PAP reported.

He added that the EU, including Germany and Poland, would “not accept any disruption of the territorial integrity of Ukraine” as Russia continued its military buildup towards its southern neighbour.   


Source: PAP