PM, Macron discuss border crisis, Ukraine, Russia

Albert Zawada/PAP

The current migrant crisis at Poland's border with Belarus and concerns about the concentration of Russian troops near Ukraine dominated the Polish prime minister's talks with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday.

On Sunday, Mateusz Morawiecki began a series of visits to European capitals to discuss the current migrant crisis on Poland's border with Belarus. His first stops were Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. On Tuesday, he met with his counterparts from Croatia as well as the Visegrad Group countries - the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Morawiecki said after the talks that he gave Macron a broad account of the border crisis and proposed a unified EU response to the threats. He added that he planned to present the EU with a plan of action for use by its current Slovenian presidency and, subsequently, for France when it takes over the EU chair.

He stressed that the French president voiced agreement with Poland's viewpoint in many areas.

"(I spoke about fears - PAP) related to several things that are happening simultaneously today. One of them, of course, is the situation on our eastern border with Belarus, which is at the same time, the eastern border of Nato and eastern border of the EU. By defending it, we are defending the EU," Morawiecki said in Paris.

Morawiecki added he and Macron discussed the recent concentration of Russian forces on Russia's border with Ukraine, and Russia's gas policy "blackmail" of Europe, which threatens with drastic price hikes for users. They also discussed Russia's cyberattacks on other countries.

Morawiecki said the situation called for a concerted response by the entire EU. He also thanked France and other EU members for their support of Poland in the eastern border crisis.

On Wednesday, government spokesperson Piotr Mueller said Morawiecki was scheduled to speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday and British PM Boris Johnson on the following day.