EU should be strong global partner, PM says after talks with Merkel

Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

Poland wants the EU to be a powerful partner to leading global forces like China, Russia or the US, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Saturday after talks with Poland-visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Morawiecki told a press conference with Merkel that one of the leading themes of the talks was international security, especially in light of the recent developments in Afghanistan.

He said that he and Merkel also discussed the Afghanistan situation's implications for international relations, especially in the context of combatting international terrorism and the EU's relations with China and the US.

Morawiecki said he assured Merkel of Poland's wish for the EU to be a strong global player and a partner to leading global forces like China, Russia or the US, and stressed that this will require economic strength and the effective deterrence of aggressors.

"We want the EU to be a global, very strong partner to various regional forces and international institutions, first and foremost China, Russia and the US. For this to happen, the EU must be strong economically and must strengthen its ability to deter potential aggressors," Morawiecki said.

Morawiecki said he and Merkel discussed the current crisis on Poland's border to Belarus, where a group of Middle Eastern migrants has been camped for weeks after being refused entry by Poland. He assured that Poland had the full support of the EC and Germany in the matter.

Poland has accused Belarus of deliberately pushing migrants over the Polish border in what it has called a hybrid attack on the EU.

Morawiecki said the talks also focused on the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which has been strongly contested by Poland, and on climate policy.

Morawiecki said he thanked Merkel for Germany's role in fostering good economic relations between both countries. He said Polish-German trade was developing very well, with broad cooperation between both countries' enterprise and rising mutual investment.

He also mentioned rising cultural ties between Poland and Germany.

Merkel said she and Morawiecki discussed Poland's rule-of-law debate with the EU, and stressed that the matter should be resolved by dialogue. She added that she believed there were openings for progress in the rule-of-law talks.

Commenting on the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, Merkel said hybrid attacks with the use of people were unacceptable, and appealed to Belarus to aid the migrant group stranded on the border. Referring to Nord Stream 2, Merkel said Germany wanted Ukraine to remain a transit country for Russian gas after the 2024 expiry of its current contract.