Polish PM says French president's words about NATO irresponsible

"I think President Macron's doubts (about NATO's mutual defence clause) can make other allies wonder if perhaps it is France that has concerns about sticking to it. I hope that we can still count on France fulfilling its obligations," Morawiecki told the Financial Times. /PAP/EPA

Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki in an interview with the Financial Times accused the French President of irresponsibility after Emmanuel Macron said NATO was suffering 'brain death' and questioned the effectiveness of the alliance’s commitment to mutual defence.

PM Morawiecki said NATO was "the most important alliance in the world when it comes to preserving freedom and peace," and stressed that "the questioning of whether its members could still be counted on to defend each other — the cornerstone of Europe’s security architecture — was dangerous."

"I think President Macron's doubts (about NATO's mutual defence clause) can make other allies wonder if perhaps it is France that has concerns about sticking to it. I hope that we can still count on France fulfilling its obligations," Morawiecki told the Financial Times.

The Financial Times recalled that last week President Macron said that there were growing concerns regarding the future of the alliance in connection with the unilateralism of US President Donald Trump.

PM Morawiecki underlined that NATO's problems were not caused by the ambivalence of President Trump, but by the lack of commitment of some European members, most of whom — unlike Poland — still did not meet the alliance's target of at least 2 percent of GDP on defence.

The Polish prime minister stressed that the US had always supported Europe and added that Europe would not have liberated itself from the German Nazi occupation if it were not for US assistance. Emphasising that France's spending on defence was below 2 percent of GDP, Morawiecki admitted that in certain aspects NATO did not look as we wish, but stressed that this was rather caused by the lack of reciprocity on the part of some European allies.

In this context, the Polish PM referred to the involvement of French business in the Nord Stream 2 project, which in Poland's opinion threatened Europe's energy security and increased its dependence on Russia. He also recalled President Macron's recent diplomatic steps aimed at the improvement of relations with Russia.

PM Morawiecki repeated that NATO was "the primary source of security" for Poland and rejected the idea of more close relations with Russia since "Europe could not pretend nothing has happened in Ukraine, Belarus or Georgia."

The prime minister stressed that Poland supported cooperation with a peaceful and democratic Russia but added that Russia was not peaceful and was quite aggressive in its surrounding.

Admitting that President Macron was in a different situation, PM Morawiecki underlined that the solidarity of the EU should be so important for all EU leaders that the reservations of other EU partners towards Russia should not be ignored.