Scholz and Polish Prime Minister discuss migration, energy and the EU | Economic news

By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – New German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed on Sunday that Europe will not tolerate attempts to undermine the territorial integrity of its nations and said diplomatic tools like the Normandy format should be used to defuse tensions after Russian troops massed near the Ukrainian border.

Scholz was speaking alongside Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw, where the two leaders held talks on migration, energy, European Union issues and fears of a possible Russian aggression against Ukraine.

“We are watching with great concern the troop movements along the Ukrainian border, and we say very, very clearly that the borders in Europe cannot be violated and that we regard the integrity of the borders of countries as inviolable – and that no one should think that they could just be raped without serious consequences, ”said Scholz.

France and Germany took the initiative to negotiate a peace deal in 2015 between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels, in what is known as the Normandy format.

Political cartoons about world leaders

Political cartoons

Referring to the intensified conflict over the rule of law between the Polish government and the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, Scholz stressed that the bloc of 27 nations is united by the principles of democracy and said that “that would also be very good and useful”. if the current discussions “could soon lead to a very good pragmatic solution”, and the EU “would therefore continue to be bound by these principles of democracy and the rule of law”.

The European Commission is withholding pandemic stimulus funds from Poland, saying government policies erode judicial independence there.

Regarding the pipeline that divides Nord Stream 2 which is to carry Russian gas directly to Germany, Morawiecki reiterated Poland’s position that it exposes Europe and Ukraine to pressure from Moscow, and said that it was better not to be open.

Scholz insisted that the pipeline was a purely energy project whose role will diminish with the development of renewable energy sources in Germany. The German regulator has suspended the approval process for the completed pipeline due to legal issues.

Scholz was greeted by Morawiecki, with military honors, in front of the office of the Polish Prime Minister. It was one of Scholz’s first visits after he was sworn in with his coalition cabinet on Wednesday.

They also discussed the complex bilateral relations under the new German government. Good neighborly ties are still overshadowed by WWII, especially under the current right-wing Polish government, which says Germany owes Poland compensation for damage caused by the war.

Agnieszka Lada-Konefal, deputy director of the German Institute of Polish Affairs in Darmstadt, Germany, expects the Scholz government to continue dialogue and contacts with Poland, which is an important member on the eastern flank. of the EU and Germany’s fifth largest trading partner.

The visit comes 30 years after the two parliaments ratified a treaty on good neighborly relations and friendly cooperation.

On Friday, Scholz met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and later EU and NATO officials in Brussels.

Scholz, a 63-year-old center-left politician, became Germany’s ninth chancellor after World War II, ushering in a new era for the EU’s most populous nation and largest economy after the term 16-year-old Angela Merkel.

His government is made up of a coalition of his center-left social democrats, green environmentalists and pro-business free democrats.

Emily Schultheis in Vienna contributed to this report.

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