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Polish, French European Affairs ministers discuss EU, NS2, energy cooperation

European Union matters and energy cooperation were the main issues of Tuesday’s talks in Warsaw between European Affairs Minister Konrad Szymański and his French counterpart, Clément Beaune.

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After the talks, Konrad Szymański told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that Poland and France often had common views on a number of problems.

“We are often quite close in issues related to the digital market, industrial policy or tax evasion,” Mr Szymański said, adding that “together, we defend the interests of the European agriculture.”

#Pologne | Ce matin, je me suis entretenu avec mon homologue 🇵🇱 Konrad Szymanski. La 🇫🇷 et la 🇵🇱 ont de nombreux intérêts communs, un dialogue approfondi et sincère est plus que jamais nécessaire 🇪🇺

— Clement Beaune (@CBeaune) March 9, 2021

“Today in the morning I spoke with my Polish counterpart Konrad Szymański. Poland and France have many common interests, and the deep, honest dialogue is necessary more than ever,” Mr Beaune tweeted.

During the talks, the Polish minister raised the problem of Polish companies being, as he said, discriminated against in the West. The ministers also talked about the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.

Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) as well as the US strongly oppose the construction of the pipeline that is to supply gas directly to Germany from Russia through the seabed of the Baltic Sea.

Critics say that the project, which is almost finished, would increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and extend the Kremlin’s influence on European politics.

Mr Szymański said that Poland appreciated France’s “distance” towards the German-Russian project, but noted that Paris is not as “determined” in the matter as Poland.

Minister Beaune, on a three-day visit to Poland, has also spoken with Tomasz Grodzki, the head of the opposition-controlled upper house of the Polish parliament, the Senate.

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