Brussels (Brussels Morning) Germany’s new Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Poland on Sunday to strengthen ties with Berlin’s neighbouring EU member state.
He met in Warsaw with Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who remarked afterwards that the visit was the start of “a new chapter” in bilateral relations, DW reported.
Morawiecki warned Sholz that the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project was becoming untenable, stressing that it provides Russia with the leverage to apply pressure on the EU and to tighten the “political noose” around Ukraine.
Commenting on the Russian build-up of forces near Ukraine, Scholz stressed “it is important that Europe makes clear together that we will not accept this and that we do not agree with what is happening there,” asserting that “we will not accept a violation of those borders.”
Transit of Russian gas
Noting that Nord Stream 2 would allow Russia to deliver gas to the EU without havng to transit through Ukraine, Scholz said he would continue to support the transit of gas through Ukraine and that country’s green transition.
“We continue to feel responsible for ensuring that Ukraine’s gas transit business remains successful”, he declared. We will also help Ukraine be a country that will be a major source of renewable energy and the necessary production that results from that.”
Commenting on the migrant crisis on the border with Belarus, Scholz expressed support for Poland’s efforts aimed to protect the EU’s external borders.
According to Morawiecki, he “described to the Chancellor the changed tactics that the Lukashenko regime is now using in this artificially triggered migration crisis, the use of people as living shields, as weapons.”He also commented on the rising friction between Warsaw and the European Commission, stressing that people in Poland view the federalisation of the EU as “bureaucratic centralism”, while maintaining that “Europe will be strong if it is a Europe of sovereign states.”