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We showed Lukashenka he cannot threaten Europe: Polish PM

“We are showing that we are protecting the eastern flank of NATO and the European Union,” the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview with the French daily “Le Figaro,” commenting on the situation at the Polish-Belarusian border. We showed [Alyaksandr] Lukashenka that he will not be able to blackmail Europe,” he stressed.

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When asked about the topics of Wednesday’s conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, he replied that he pointed to the problems that are currently destabilising Eastern Europe, such as illegal migration, the concentration of Russian troops around Ukraine, Russian energy blackmail and secret cyber attacks.

“You can see that today [Vladimir] Putin is trying to mobilise his public opinion around external enemies and rebuild Great Russia,” PM Morawiecki pointed out.

He emphasised that by protecting its border, Poland guards the security of both the European Union and NATO.

“Our border is quite tight and we are tightening it even more. We showed [Alyaksandr] Lukashenka that he will not be able to blackmail Europe,” he stressed.

When asked about the penalty of EUR 1 million per day imposed on Poland in October by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for not suspending the application of the provisions of national legislation relating, in particular, to the areas of jurisdiction of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, The Prime Minister replied that Poland would not pay it because “the EU has exceeded its competences.”

“The EU is an organisation that can only decide on matters entrusted to it by sovereign states,” he pointed out.

“We will not give in to this blackmail. The only reason we are still talking to them [EU bodies] is that we want to preserve the unity of the EU, and also because important elements of our judicial reform were planned by us a year ago. And this plan included the dismantling of the Disciplinary Chamber,” PM Morawiecki stressed.

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The Prime Minister assured that Poland had the support of the Visegrad Group on the matter and that support for its position in Europe was growing.

“We are at a turning point in the history of the EU,” he emphasised.

When asked why Poland could not improve its relations with Moscow and whether he felt threatened by Russia, Morawiecki replied that he would like to cooperate with Russia.

“Russia is and will remain our neighbour and we would like to cooperate with it. But we do not want to be blackmailed, forced or conquered by them [Russians]. We do not want their pressure. We would like to cooperate with Russia that is not aggressive,” he pointed out.

When asked about integrating Ukraine with NATO, the Prime Minister replied that the country “has many other steps to take before joining NATO or the EU.”

“I would like Ukraine to focus on development, on prosperity, and I would not like it to be in conflict with the Russians,” he said.

In response to the newspaper’s mention of Polish armaments contracts and the country’s foreign policy, which in the daily’s opinion focuses more on relations with the US rather than with France, the Prime Minister stated that “Poland is as pro-European as it is pro-American.”

“We would like to maintain transatlantic unity. We really like working with Americans, but also with the French. Together with President [Emmanuel] Macron, we have already started a new era of mutual cooperation. I can tell you today that we will work very closely with France in the field of defence, as well as in the field of nuclear energy,” Mateusz Morawiecki concluded.

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