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Andrzej Duda about the building of the Polish embassy in Berlin. Radosław Sikorski comments: the president radically missed the truth

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I would like Minister Radosław Sikorski not to return to the policy of selling Polish real estate abroad and closing down Polish diplomatic missions, said President Andrzej Duda on Thursday. He added that the construction of a “beautiful and modern” building of the Polish embassy in Berlin “was decided in the last eight years.” The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on social media that “President Andrzej Duda was radically untrue regarding the embassy in Berlin.”

– The most important thing is that Polish interests are represented with dignity. And I would like Minister Sikorski not to return to the policy he once pursued when he was previously Minister of Foreign Affairs – selling Polish real estate abroad and closing down Polish diplomatic missions – said Andrzej Duda at a press conference after the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' speech to the Sejm.

The president emphasized that over the last eight years, efforts had been made to recreate diplomatic missions. – And I am very glad that Minister Sikorski is emphasizing so strongly today that a new Polish embassy will soon be opened in Berlin at Unter den Linden, on absolutely one of the main streets of Berlin, close to the American embassy – he said.

Design of the construction of a new building of the Polish embassy in BerlinJakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

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He emphasized that it is a “beautifully designed, modern, wonderful building in which we will certainly be worthily represented.” – These are decisions that were made over the last eight years and implemented over the last eight years – noted the president, adding that there is “loud talk” in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Radosław Sikorski intended to sell the plot of land on which the building stands today.

– Fortunately, a new Polish embassy was built in this place, because it is a very dignified and important place in Berlin. And I am glad that Poland will also be represented with dignity in Berlin with this building, just as a large country neighboring the Federal Republic of Germany should be represented – concluded the president.

Andrzej Duda at a press conference Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Sikorski comments

“President Andrzej Duda radically missed the truth regarding the embassy in Berlin,” Radosław Sikorski commented on the X website.

He added that “the PO-PSL government did not plan to sell the plot in Berlin, resolved the competition for the design of the new embassy and started the investment.”

“The PiS government referred the case to the prosecutor's office and only after a few years did it return to our project,” wrote the minister.

The unlucky history of the Polish embassy in Berlin

Poland received a plot of land on one of Berlin's most famous and representative streets, Unter den Linden, in 1964 as a gift from the GDR government. A GDR office building of the “Leipzig” type was built there, housing the embassy of the Polish People's Republic.

The first plans to build a new facility date back to the 1990s. First, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by Dariusz Rosati, planned to build it in a consortium with a German company owned by Deutsche Bank, but after criticism of this idea expressed in press publications, mainly “Wprost”, this idea was abandoned.

Then, also in the 1990s, a competition for a new embassy building was announced. It was won by a team led by Marek Budzyński (author of, among others, the University of Warsaw Library). But due to changes in the project and changes in regulations, and the resulting increasing costs, this project was also abandoned.

The next competition was announced during the PO-PSL government. In 2012, it was won by the JEMS studio, one of the most famous in Poland. The implementation started only in 2016, during the PiS government. The old office building was demolished and then The district prosecutor's office initiated an investigation into the failure to fulfill duties by MFA employees from 2012 to 2015 during the construction of the new embassy. In 2017, the investigation was transferred to the district prosecutor's office. We asked if it was still ongoing and are waiting for a response.

Ultimately, work started again at the end of 2020.

Main photo source: Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

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