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Polish ruling party chief, German opposition leader discuss Ukraine war, WWII reparations

27.07.2022 22:30
Poland’s conservative leader on Wednesday met with the head of Germany’s opposition CDU party to discuss issues including Russia's war against Ukraine and potential German reparations to Poland over World War II, news outlets reported. 
Jarosław Kaczyński
Jarosław KaczyńskiPAP/Tytus Żmijewski

Jarosław Kaczyński, who leads Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, and the CDU’s Friedrich Merz held two-hour talks in Warsaw, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

Kaczyński was accompanied by officials including Andrzej Przyłębski, a former Polish ambassador to Germany, while Merz appeared at the talks alongside a group of CDU lawmakers.

Kaczyński raised the issue of reparations for the damage Nazi Germany inflicted on Poland during World War II, a spokesman for the Polish governing party, Radosław Fogiel, told reporters.

He added that "the Polish side stressed the need to settle this issue.” 

The Polish and German politicians also discussed bilateral issues, relations within the European Union, and Berlin's help for Kyiv, Fogiel said.  

He added that his party hoped "the CDU’s approach to helping Ukraine will be different from the policy pursued by the current government in Berlin."     

Meetings with Polish PM, opposition leader

While in Warsaw, Germany's Merz was also scheduled to meet with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the head of the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party, Donald Tusk, according to the website for Germany's Der Spiegel weekly.

The news magazine reported that Merz was seeking to maintain close contact with Poland’s senior politicians to smooth out bilateral ties. 

'Exchange of tanks has reached a dead end'

Germany has recently come in for some strong criticism from Poland's ruling conservatives for failing to provide modern tanks to Warsaw to replace equipment sent to Ukraine, the PAP news agency reported.

It said Merz on Monday criticised the German head of state, arguing that “the exchange of tanks has reached a dead end due to the hesitation of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.”

'I hope the German government will fulfil its obligations'

Before meeting Kaczyński on Wednesday, Merz laid a wreath at the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Memorial in the Polish capital’s Krasińskich Square. 

Afterwards, the CDU leader said: “The war in Ukraine is a big challenge for all of us and I hope the German government will fulfil its obligations, and weapons will be swiftly delivered as part of the exchange ...

He added: “Weapons must be delivered and they must be delivered in the way that the Polish government expects.”

According to the Der Spiegel website, Merz’s next stop after Poland will be Lithuania, where he is due to meet with Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonyte, among other politicians. 

Wednesday was day 154 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, polskatimes.pl