President Andrzej Duda commented on the conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during his visit to North Macedonia. – I outlined to him all the issues related to possible military threats – said the president. – We hope that soon, thanks to the political support of the European community and the North Atlantic Alliance, the hybrid attack on the Polish border will be completed – he added. Speaking about relations with North Macedonia, he assured that this country had constant support from the Polish side in its efforts to join the European Union.
President Andrzej Duda has been visiting the Western Balkans since Tuesday; he has been in North Macedonia since Thursday. On Friday, he met with the president of the country, Stevo Pendarovski.
At the press conference after the meeting, Duda assured that North Macedonia can count on continued solidarity and support from Poland. He recalled that in January 2022 Poland will take over the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and in 2023 this chairmanship will be taken over by North Macedonia.
– Today I have initially proposed to the president the principles of cooperation between Poland and North Macedonia in this respect and I believe that 2023 will also be a year of developing cooperation between countries on a political path in this very important international organization – informed the President of the Republic of Poland.
Duda about the conversation with the head of NATO: I raised issues related to possible military threats
Andrzej Duda was asked at a press conference about the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, as well as about the details of the conversation he had a few days ago with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg. The president expressed his gratitude and satisfaction that Stoltenberg “presented his position in such a decisive manner” on the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.
He also informed that during this conversation he had also outlined “all issues related to possible military threats” that could arise. – I say possible, because we have not observed them yet – he added. Moreover, as he reported, he asked the head of NATO to “pay special attention” to the territory of the Polish-Belarusian border.
The president recalled that in recent days he also talked with the presidents of France, Emmanuel Macron and Lithuanian Gitanas Nauseda. – We have the same observations, the same knowledge and the same opinion on this subject: this is a hybrid attack by the Belarusian regime on the border of the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance – noted Duda.
Jens Stoltenberg, after talking to Andrzej Duda, wrote on Twitter that “the use of migrants by Belarus as a hybrid tactic is unacceptable. NATO stands in solidarity with Poland and all our allies in the region,” he added.
Duda on the hybrid attack on the Polish border: we hope it will be completed soon
Andrzej Duda, speaking about the situation on the border, thanked President Stevo Pendarovski for his solidarity towards Poland and for his understanding and support in this difficult situation.
– It is a fact that the Belarusian regime has launched a hybrid attack on the border of the European Union and the border of NATO. These are the three states of both the European Union and the states of the North Atlantic Alliance: Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Today, the Polish border is under attack the most – said Duda.
– Therefore, we are defending both the area of the European Union and NATO against illegal migration with all our strength – he added. He assessed that this is a difficult and unpleasant situation, as the regime’s forces are pushing migrants to our border. – We hope that, thanks to the political support of the European community and the North Atlantic Alliance, this attack will end soon, and the Belarusian authorities will cease this attack on the Polish border, said President Duda.
President on North Macedonia: has constant support from Poland in her efforts to join the EU
President Andrzej Duda said during the press conference that his visit to Skopje shows the vitality of mutual relations between Poland and North Macedonia. – On the Polish side, I can assure you that North Macedonia has constant support from the Polish side in its efforts to join the European Union – he assured.
He also declared that in the event that the Bulgarian authorities, who are currently elected in the elections, faced problems with the accession of North Macedonia, he, as the President of the Republic of Poland, would “also join in to obtain such a solution, which will allow North Macedonia to join the European Union under the normal terms of membership. “
Bulgaria blocked the start of accession talks with North Macedonia in 2020 due to a dispute over identity issues. The Bulgarian government expects the authorities in Skopje to introduce amendments to the constitution, thanks to which the Bulgarians would be included in the list of nations living in North Macedonia. At the beginning of November, North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev agreed to amend the constitution, but he categorically opposed “adjusting the nation’s history to Bulgarian expectations”.
Duda: Poland can offer North Macedonia specific instruments
During his speech, President Duda emphasized the importance of the economic component in Polish-Macedonian relations. He pointed to the systematic increase in trade in goods between our countries and assessed that there was a great potential for the development of cooperation in this area. He emphasized that the North Macedonian economy is generally regarded as the most competitive in the region and that the country is an excellent place to locate large foreign investments.
The president pointed out that foreign companies are increasingly investing in this country, for example in the extraction of raw materials or the automotive sector. – I recommend this, especially to Polish investors with extensive experience in industry, energy, mining, tourism, environmental protection and agriculture – he said.
Duda also said that he saw great potential when it comes to the development of bilateral investment cooperation.
He pointed out that the common feature of our countries is the dominance of fossil fuels in energy mixes. That is why – he added – we have similar challenges related to the low-emission energy transformation, the development of renewable energy sources and energy infrastructure. – Poland can offer North Macedonia specific instruments useful in the energy transformation. Both through investment, technology and consulting projects. Polish enterprises are ready to participate in the modernization of the Macedonian energy sector – Andrzej Duda assured.
Main photo source: PAP / Radek Pietruszka