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Polish, Greek FMs hold talks on support for Ukraine, energy policy, food security

05.10.2022 23:30
Poland’s foreign minister on Wednesday met with his Greek counterpart to discuss support for war-torn Ukraine, energy policy and food security, among other issues.
Polands Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (right) and Greeces Nikos Dendias (left) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Warsaw on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.
Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (right) and Greece's Nikos Dendias (left) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Warsaw on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. PAP/Paweł Supernak

Zbigniew Rau and Nikos Dendias held talks in the Polish capital Warsaw, state news agency PAP reported.

At a joint news conference afterwards, Poland’s top diplomat said he and Dendias “discussed a series of issues currently on the international agenda.”

Support for Ukraine

Rau said: “We had an in-depth discussion about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We agreed that Ukraine needs comprehensive, military, political and humanitarian support, both from Warsaw and Athens.”

He declared that “Poland and Greece will continue to provide such support, including during the postwar reconstruction of the Ukrainian state.”

“We expressed cautious optimism regarding the current security situation in Ukraine, as well as the political and economic prospects of the Ukrainian state,” the Polish foreign minister stated.

Also under discussion were “the possibilities of humanitarian support for Ukrainian refugees in Poland,” Rau said.

Sanctions, energy crisis, food security

The Polish foreign minister added that he and his Greek counterpart talked about “the necessity to ramp up the sanctions pressure" on Russia.

“We discussed the energy security of our countries and the need to achieve independence from raw materials originating in Russia,” he also said.

In addition, Rau and Dendias "covered the topic of global food security, which has been undermined as a result of Russia’s totally unjustified, illegal actions,” Poland’s top diplomat told reporters. 

Greek-Turkish tensions

“We also discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Rau said. 

He was referring to tensions that arose after Turkey signed a preliminary deal on energy exploration with Libya.

The agreement questions Greece’s territorial waters south of the island of Crete and has been condemned by Athens, as well as the United States and the European Union, the euractiv.com website reported. 

The Polish foreign minister said: “Poland calls for a reduction of tensions in the region, for good neighbourly relations and also urges those concerned to seek solutions to the controversy on the basis of international law and dialogue.”  

'No contentious matters in our relations'

At the news conference, Rau hailed bilateral Polish-Greek ties, saying that bilateral trade had now reached unprecedented levels. 

“This is just a prelude to further shared achievements,” he said. 

Rau added that cultural and scientific cooperation was “a bright point” in Polish-Greek relations, "as evidenced by the creation of a Polish archaeological institute in Athens last year.”

Rau told reporters: “I am pleased that the relations between Poland and Greece are friendly and are developing harmoniously. There are no contentious matters in our relations.”

He added: “The fact that they are growing on the foundation of mutual sympathy between our peoples is very significant.”

Push for WWII reparations from Germany

At the joint news conference with Dendias, Rau was also asked about Poland’s push for World War II reparations from Germany.

The Polish foreign minister on Monday signed a formal note to the government in Berlin, demanding compensation for the losses Poland suffered at the hands of Nazi Germany between 1939 and 1945.

On September 1, Poland announced that the losses totalled EUR 1.3 trillion. 

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last month: “I am convinced that we will receive reparations from Germany, although it won’t happen quickly.”

He added: “Even the most difficult journey begins with the first step.”           

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met with Rau on Tuesday, and said that in Berlin’s view, the matter of World War II reparations for Poland was settled, the Reuters news agency reported.   

Rau said on Wednesday: “In line with diplomatic good practice, we expect an official response to our note.” 

Greece’s Dendias, meanwhile, told reporters that for the Greek government and society, “the issue of reparations remains open.”

He added that settling the topic was “a question of values” and would be “beneficial to all concerned countries and to the European Union.”

Wednesday was day 224 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, gov.pl, euractiv.com