Poland interested in defence cooperation with France

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Warsaw wants to cooperate with France to strengthen European defence, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, said before meeting Emmanuel Macron, the French president.

"Obviously, security is a prerequisite of fast economic growth and that's why Poland and France, arm in arm, are thinking of ways to strengthen Europe’s defence potential," Morawiecki said in Paris on Monday.

"We want to expand Polish-French cooperation, which is looking good, but we are also opening up onto other fields," the Polish prime minister added.

Morawiecki also warned that the crisis that Russia sparked by invading Ukraine had just started.

"The crisis is affecting security and energy and is a political and economic crisis in its broadest sense," Morawiecki said.

"United we stand, divided we fall," Morawiecki said, appealing for more European unity in the face of the crises.

The meeting is an apparent attempt to revive Polish-French relations, which chilled in the spring during the run-up to the French presidential election, when Macron called Morawiecki "an extreme right-wing anti-Semite who excludes LGBT people."

Just days before Macron's statement, Morawiecki had berated him for his frequent conversations with Vladimir Putin, saying that "no one negotiates with Hitler."

In December 2021, Poland hosted a meeting of Eurosceptic and nationalist leaders, including Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban and Macron's main contender in the presidential ballot, Marine Le Pen. In a joint declaration, the leaders said they wanted "to put a stop to the disturbing idea of creating a Europe governed by a self-appointed elite" as they stressed the primacy of nation-states.