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Polish, Dutch PMs discuss support for Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, Belarus

31.05.2023 23:30
The Polish prime minister has met with his Dutch counterpart and the two leaders discussed further support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia's invasion, help for Kyiv’s bid to join the European Union, and sanctions against Russia and Belarus, according to officials.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (left) and the Netherlands Mark Rutte (right) meet for talks in The Hague on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (left) and the Netherlands' Mark Rutte (right) meet for talks in The Hague on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.Twitter/Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland

Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki and the Netherlands’ Mark Rutte held talks in The Hague on Wednesday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.  

The two heads of government also touched upon such topics as European security, bilateral economic cooperation, EU reform and migration policy, according to officials.  

Morawiecki and Rutte held a joint news conference, during which the Polish prime minister said: “I want to thank the Netherlands for the great sensitivity that it has regarding the war in Ukraine.”  

Morawiecki added that “when it comes to support for Ukraine, including the supply of weapons,” Poland and the Netherlands “speak with one voice” and “are definitely on the same wavelength.”

The Polish prime minister also stated: “I am very glad that we have a common point of view on various risks and threats. Thank you, Prime Minister Rutte, for understanding the need to strengthen the transatlantic dimension and cooperation between the EU and the United States. It is crucial for European and global security.”

Morawiecki said he and Rutte also discussed support for Ukraine’s bid to join the EU. 

He told reporters: “Ukraine defends our European values and proves it every day. If today Ukraine is not worthy of being a member of the EU, I do not know what would have to happen to make such a decision.”

Morawiecki declared: “We need to start thinking boldly about the future of Europe and about EU enlargement.”   

Sanctions against Belarus

The Polish prime minister also raised the issue of sanctions against Russia’s close ally Belarus.

He said in The Hague: “After the recent complete violations of human rights by the Alexander Lukashenko regime in Belarus, Poland had to respond by imposing new sanctions.”

Morawiecki added: “I will ask the European Council to strengthen sanctions against Belarus. We see how strongly Belarus is dependent on Russia and we experience it during the artificially induced migration attack” through the Belarus border.

The Polish prime minister also told reporters that Russia was "using Belarus to sidestep sanctions.”

He said Poland was “in talks with several countries about imposing tougher sanctions against Belarus.”

Morawiecki stated: “Obviously, it is of key importance that the EU as a whole takes action ... I will raise this issue at the next European Council in a few weeks’ time.”

He elaborated that he would seek “stronger mechanisms to tighten existing sanctions against Belarus, which would also send a message to everyone who wants to cooperate with the Kremlin that it doesn’t pay.”

Poland supports unanimity principle in European Council: PM 

Morawiecki said he and the Dutch prime minister had also talked about "EU reform, which is being widely debated at the moment.”

He told reporters that Poland was against proposals to decide EU security and foreign policy by a qualified majority in the European Council, the PAP news agency reported.

The Polish prime minister said that “the principle of unanimity helps smaller countries, such as Poland and the Netherlands.”

He stated: “Poland unequivocally believes that unanimity is a sort of safety valve that protects us from being dominated by bigger and stronger countries.”

Morawiecki vowed that Poland would seek support for its position among fellow EU member states, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Migration policy

The Polish and Dutch prime ministers also discussed migration policy, reporters were told.

Morawiecki said that “Poland is countering illegal migration from Belarus” and called for joint mechanisms to deal with “the great migrant influx from southern Europe,” including “helping migrants in their countries of origin … because, in our view, Europe can’t admit any number of migrants.”

The Polish prime minister added that “migration policy as such is the sovereign prerogative of every member state.”

Wednesday was day 462 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, dorzeczy.pl