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Polish and French PMs discussed further sanctions for Belarus

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

TVN24 News in English, Reuters
Premier Morawiecki z wizytą w Paryżu
Premier Morawiecki z wizytą w Paryżu TVN24
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TVN24 Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on a visit to Paris

President Emmanuel Macron told Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday that France and other EU nations stood by Warsaw over its confrontation with Belarus but that did not mean the bloc would overlook concerns about the rule of law.

Macron and Morawiecki held talks in Paris as European capitals grapple with what European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has called an attempt by Belarus to use migrants to destabilise the European Union.

Macron "reaffirmed his solidarity with Poland in the face of the destabilisation efforts it faces on its eastern border", the French presidency said in a statement.

It added: "They also discussed the issue of rule of law in Poland. The president reiterated his concerns on this matter and called on the Polish government to find a solution that safeguarded the core values of the European Union."

Polish prime minister said at a press briefing after meeting with Macron: "I mentioned, among other things, concerns regarding the situation at the Belarus border, Russia's gas blackmail, and threat of attack on Ukraine. We should respond with a joint EU action," he stressed.

Morawiecki at Poland's Embassy in ParisAlbert Zawada/PAP

Morawiecki also underscored that by protecting Poland's eastern border at the same time means protecting eastern border of the NATO and EU, and thanked France and other EU partners for words of solidarity and support.

Thousands of migrants are stranded on the EU's eastern border. Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are bearing the brunt of what the EU says is Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's ploy to engineer a crisis by flying migrants into Belarus and then pushing them across EU borders.

The crisis comes at a time when Brussels is locked in a long-running dispute with Warsaw over the independence of Poland's judiciary and press freedoms.

In October, Poland's judiciary questioned the supremacy of EU law in a court ruling, a move the EU interpreted as a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order and which raised fears that Poland could eventually exit the bloc.

Migrants tried to force their way through the fence on the Poland-Belarus border in at least two locations on Tuesday night, the Polish Border Guard said, as tensions remained on the ground amid a diplomatic push by the Polish prime minister.

While the number of migrants at the frontier has decreased, Warsaw says repeated incidents showed Minsk may have changed tactics but had not given up plans to use migrants fleeing the Middle East and other hotspots as a weapon in the stand-off with the European Union.

The Polish Border Guard said on Twitter that at around 1800 GMT on Tuesday a group of around 100 migrants had tried to force their way through, and a video accompanying the tweet showed a section of the border fence flattened with armed men in military uniforms standing on the other side.

The Border Guard said another group of 40 migrants made two attempts to force through the border near the village of Mielnik, throwing stones, branches and stun grenades at Polish forces.

One soldier was injured near Mielnik, Border Guard spokeswoman Anna Michalska told state-run news agency PAP.

"One of the soldiers suffered head injuries. He was given medical help," she was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, after visits to Budapest and Zagreb on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was in Paris and heading later to Ljubljana on Wednesday in a bid to reinforce European unity behind a tough stance on Belarus and Russia.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz told Reuters that Morawiecki would meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday.

"The prime minister is now talking to the EU leaders, starting with Paris, President Macron, to keep the unity of the European Union... and be prepared for further actions if there is a further deterioration of the security situation," he said.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Kancelaria Premiera

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