Poland and UK care for trans-Atlantic unity, Polish PM says

Hollie Adams/PAP/EPA

The UK shares Poland’s desire to care for trans-Atlantic unity, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has said after a meeting with his British counterpart in London.

The meeting was part of a tour of European capitals by Morawiecki to drum up support for Poland over the migrant crisis on its border with Belarus, and to discuss a number of other geo-political issues plaguing Central Europe.

"Poland and Great Britain are two countries that like few other countries want to care for trans-Atlantic unity and for the unity of the Western world," Morawiecki told a press conference on Friday following talks with Boris Johnson.

"And we do care about the unity of the Western world, we try to minimise all kinds of quarrels, animosities, problems, and at the same time maximise the benefits of cooperation for the free world, so that this global order, challenged by the ruler of the Kremlin, can continue and stand up for prosperity, peace and stability," he said.

The Polish prime minister said that the UK was aware that Europe is now facing a number of threats.

"These threats are related both to our situation on the Belarusian border and the migration crisis, artificially induced, but also to the huge energy crisis we are experiencing throughout Europe," he said.

In addition this this, Morawiecki said, other threats included the situation in Ukraine, the spread of Russian propaganda, and the destruction of unity and peace.

"These are all phenomena with a common denominator... the operation of the (Belarus leader Alexander - PAP) Lukashenko's regime and its sponsor, its proper principal, the Kremlin," he said.

In an effort to deal with Lukashenko, the Polish prime minister said that he had talked with Johnson about introducing "a very precisely defined set of sanctions against Belarus, and - if necessary - against Russia, so that these risks... or conflicts do not escalate."

Morawiecki said he was very glad that "Prime Minister Johnson and Great Britain are on the same wavelength as us when it comes to the analysis of the root of the crises around us."

"We promised each other to work out practically identical positions on the crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, the energy crisis, the crisis surrounding Ukraine as well as the crisis connected with Moldova, and the Western Balkans," he said.

Morawiecki added that this unanimity extended to ways to de-escalate the border crisis.

In turn Johnson declared the UK’s support for Poland.

"This is a moment when we can reaffirm our commitment to the relationship but also standing shoulder to shoulder with Poland against those who would try to provoke a migrant crisis, for instance, on Polish borders," Johnson said.

He also described Poland as the UK’s "closest European Nato ally" on matters of security and defence.

"This is a chance for us to reaffirm our commitment to you as I think probably our closest European Nato ally in our thinking and our commitment to our long-term security and defence relationship... not to say nothing of our economic relationship," Johnson said.