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Poland, Greece discuss use of frozen Russian assets to aid Ukraine

12.04.2024 22:00
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk met with his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Warsaw on Friday to discuss future European Union strategies and defense collaboration.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (right) and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis (left) meet in Warsaw on Friday, April 12, 2024.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (right) and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis (left) meet in Warsaw on Friday, April 12, 2024.Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

The two leaders have reached a notable consensus on the possibility of using frozen Russian assets held in Western banks, estimated between EUR 250-300 billion, to offset the financial burden forced on Ukraine by Russia's ongoing aggression against the country.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Tusk emphasized the growing public agreement within the EU on the use of Russian funds to offset the costs of the war, suggesting that these assets could soon be mobilized to support ongoing efforts without additional financial strain on EU citizens.

"It seems we are getting step by step closer to a decision that should enable the use of these frozen funds," Tusk said.

Both leaders are aligned in their approach to the future of the EU, focusing on immediate actions to secure European defense capabilities and discussing the formation of a joint defense fund, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Mitsotakis stressed the urgency of these initiatives, indicating that such discussions should not be deferred.

The talks also touched on broader security issues, including the need for increased military and defense capabilities within the EU.

Tusk highlighted the challenges posed by what are known as shadow fleets— unflagged ships carrying Russian oil, which he said were posing a significant threat for both ecological and security reasons.

Additionally, Tusk addressed economic measures against Russia and Belarus, suggesting a 50-percent tariff on their grain imports to eliminate market competitiveness.

The meeting followed a series of consultations on the European Union's "Strategic Agenda," which also saw participation from leaders of Estonia, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg and Ireland.

These discussions are part of broader efforts to strengthen Europe's defense posture in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In his discussions with Mitsotakis, Tusk pointed out the shared challenges and objectives between Poland and Greece, particularly in defense spending and readiness.

"Europe must become a significant political and military force if we want to feel safe on our continent," Tusk asserted.

On another note, he announced that Polish firefighters would assist Greece during its wildfire season, the PAP news agency reported.


Source: PAP