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Polish PM in Brussels for EU summit

23.03.2023 12:00
The Polish prime minister on Thursday headed to Brussels for a two-day meeting of European Union leaders focusing on the bloc’s continued support for Ukraine. 
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki and fellow EU leaders were set to discuss military assistance to Ukraine, including “scaling up our production" and the "delivery of ammunition,” European Council President Charles Michel said. 

The EU summit was also expected to discuss competitiveness and energy, among other topics, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Poland was expected to push for injecting a further EUR 3.5 billion into the EU’s European Peace Facility (EPF), which funds the bloc’s military assistance to Ukraine, according to officials. 

Poland’s ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, told reporters ahead of the summit that the EPF should be strengthened “as soon as possible.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky was set to join the summit by video conference from Kyiv to discuss the EU’s further military support for his country, news outlets reported.  

Sanctions on Russia, Belarus   

The summit was also set to discuss fresh sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the Polish government said. 

The EU’s national leaders were expected to threaten Russia with further punitive measures, condemn Moscow for the abduction of Ukrainian children, and denounce Belarus for supporting Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, according to public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency. 

Poland’s Morawiecki was set to call for the creation of a coalition of countries against Russian imperialism, according to news outlets. 

The Polish prime minister has named Japan as "potentially a key influence” in helping “restore stability in the region and globally,” IAR reported.

Poland was expected to urge fresh sanctions on Russia’s access to dual-use products, on the sale of Russian commodities, such as oil and diamonds, and on the Russian nuclear industry and institutions taking part in the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine, according to Sadoś.   

Meanwhile, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński said that EU leaders would also address the “tightness” and effectiveness of sanctions against Russia and Belarus. 

Jabłoński told private broadcaster Polsat News on Thursday morning that the EU summit would explore “ways to ensure that sanctions are complied with, that they are not bypassed by third-party entities and third-party countries,” the PAP news agency reported.  

Poland, Lithuania to oppose UN chief’s call for lifting EU ban on Belarusian potash

The EU summit was set to begin with a working lunch discussion with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, according to officials.

The UN chief is calling for the EU to lift its ban on the import of potash, an important fertiliser, from Belarus, citing concerns over the food security of some African countries, the IAR news agency reported.

He says potash should be allowed to be exported from Belarus through the EU to Africa, according to reports. 

However, Poland and Lithuania were expected to reject Guterres’s appeal on Thursday, stressing that “to portray EU sanctions as a danger to food security is to repeat Russian propaganda and disinformation,” IAR reported. 

Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller told reporters that another "significant aspect" of the summit would be a discussion on the economy."

“We are aware that the United States has made economic decisions regarding inflation and now a lengthy discussion is under way in the EU about such measures,” Müller said, as quoted by the IAR news agency.   

Thursday is day 393 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, consilium.europa.eu