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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Poland in the European Union. Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski: I feel a need for Polish leadership

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Not only is Poland returning to the decision-making group in the European Union, but I actually feel the need for Polish leadership – said Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski in “Fakty po Faktach”. He added that he has the impression that the EU “is a bit tired of itself, of all the crises that have been troubling it.” – I really see a willingness to listen to Polish solutions – he said.

The head of Polish diplomacy spoke on Friday in “Fakty po Faktach” about the position Poland in the European Union after eight years of PiS rule and how it can change now. – Poland is not only returning to the decision-making group in the European Union, but I actually feel the need for Polish leadership – he said Radosław Sikorski.

As he said, he has the impression that the EU “is a bit tired of itself, of all the crises that have plagued it – the financial crisis, the pandemic, the war and several others.” – I really see a willingness to listen to Polish solutions. Poland now has a great opportunity to once again be a source of ideas, solutions and leadership in the European Union, he added.

The minister said that “unfortunately, we wasted it for eight years.”

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European Union it’s not only European money, it’s security, it’s the single market, it’s also greater influence. But all this also means greater responsibility, noted the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As he said, “we must start by ensuring that public media in Poland stop bashing the European Union and stop lying to our citizens about the European Union.”

– We are returning to the state of compliance with voluntarily concluded treaties and then the European Union can be an element of multiplying Polish strength and Polish influence at least in the post-Soviet area, but not only – said Sikorski.

Radosław Sikorski in “Fakty po Faktach” TVN24

Sikorski: it is not easy to enter a ministry that has fallen into stagnation

Sikorski said that he had the impression that foreign policy was not conducted at all during the rule of the United Right. – There was internal propaganda aimed at attacking our neighbors and allies in order to strengthen the cohesion of the ruling camp in the country – he added.

In his opinion, “foreign policy was a victim of domestic journalism.” – And now we will conduct foreign policy – he declared.

When asked what the condition of Polish diplomacy was after eight years of his predecessors’ rule, he replied that “it is not easy to enter a ministry that is empty and has fallen into some kind of stagnation.”

– Officials tell me that literally nothing has happened in the ministry for the last four months during and after the election campaign. I have a subjective impression that I am rebuilding the resort – he added.

Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: we will restore the apolitical nature of the foreign service

The head of Polish diplomacy was also asked whether a major exchange of ambassadors was planned.

– I have the impression that there is no agreement with Mr. President, who said – both privately and publicly confirmed, which we appreciate – that the government, the Prime Minister Donald Tusk has the right to work with a representative at the European Union whom he trusts, who according to him will fulfill the tasks and has fulfilled them, because money from the European Union is already flowing towards us, he said.

He added that “the previous government did not hide the fact that it politicized the foreign service, which means that it believed that ambassadors were representatives of a specific government, not the entire Polish state.” – We must draw conclusions from this, but above all, we must restore professionalism – emphasized Sikorski.

He recalled that “one of the first decisions of PiS after coming to power in 2015 was to eliminate competitions in the civil service in order to employ relatives.” – The same was done in the diplomatic service. Standards were lowered and the service was politicized – he added.

– We will restore the rules of competition, restore the professionalism and apolitical nature of the foreign service, he declared.

Sikorski: Tusk played a key role in the EU’s talks with Ukraine

Sikorski visited Kiev on Friday. This is his first foreign visit after taking over as the head of Polish diplomacy.

READ: Sikorski and Kułeba talked about unblocking border crossings. The desire for a solution “is on both sides”

In “Facts after Facts” he said that “he wanted to express the solidarity of the Polish nation, the authorities of the Republic of Poland, the president, the new government with Ukraine, its defense of its right to self-determination, but also the whole of Europe against the aggression of (Vladimir – ed.) Putin, against the attempt to defend “Russian Empire”.

– The fact that I was invited to a meeting of the management of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and actually met with the entire management of the Ukrainian state proves that Poland’s role is appreciated – added the head of Polish diplomacy.

He was asked what Poland can do now on the international arena to help Ukraine win against Russia. – He’s already doing it. On his first day in office, literally a few hours after being sworn in, Prime Minister Donald Tusk traveled to Brussels, where he played a key role in making a decision that everyone was convinced the previous day would not be made. Namely, the start of accession negotiations with Ukraine. The Ukrainians emphasized that Donald Tusk was one of the people who helped make the breakthrough, Sikorski said.

He emphasized that “if Putin were to win this war, all our problems and disputes would become marginal compared to such a catastrophe.”

The new foreign minister went on his first official trip. Radosław Sikorski visited KyivAnna Czerwińska/Fakty TVN

Sikorski: Polish defense sector companies have a role to play. I was surprised that there is no cooperation with Ukraine

– What Ukraine needs is equipment and ammunition. As the West, i.e. the European Union plus the United States, we are 20 times richer than Russia, but Russia has switched its industry to war mode and produces more equipment. And wars are not won by tactical battles, such as Bakhmut or now Avdiivka, but by production, Sikorski said.

– What needs to be done is to coordinate the efforts of national industries, but also within the European Union and beyond, to produce more equipment and ammunition for our needs and for Ukraine, he noted.

Sikorski announced that after returning from Ukraine he intended to resume talks with the Minister of Industry, Marzena Czarnecka.

– Here, companies from the arms sector also have a role to play and they also have a great benefit to take, because Ukraine has already produced drones during the war, which we do not have, or maritime drones, which we do not have, and has missile technologies, and we are a safe production base. There is a lot of scope for cooperation here and what really surprised me in conversations with my interlocutors here in Kiev is that there is practically no such industrial cooperation with Poland at the moment, but there should be – he said.

“The problem is not money, the problem is production capacity”

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also asked about the further scenario war in Ukrainegiven the problems with Western military and financial assistance to Ukraine.

– Until recently, I was the head of the European Union – United States delegation, and literally at the beginning of this month I was in Washington, still in this role, holding meetings both in the Department of State and in Congress. I have the impression that this money will go to Ukraine. This is a matter of their internal negotiations also related to the financing of security on the southern border of the United States. They will be a little delayed, but they will be there. It’s the same in the European Union, he said.

He added that “if one member state continues to block, we can always conclude an intergovernmental agreement and transfer this money to Ukraine.”

– But I want to repeat it because maybe some people do not believe that money is not really a problem, although it is also very important. The problem is production capacity. Europe has not only disarmed, Europe has also deindustrialized when it comes to defense industries, and this needs to be made up for as quickly as possible, he emphasized.

Sikorski: Polish defense sector companies have a role to play.  I was surprised that there is no cooperation with Ukraine

Sikorski: Polish defense sector companies have a role to play. I was surprised that there is no cooperation with UkraineTVN24

Sikorski on the issue of protest on the Polish-Ukrainian border

He also referred to the issue of the carriers’ protest on the Polish-Ukrainian border. He said that before leaving for Kiev, he held talks on this subject with the heads of the ministries of agriculture and infrastructure.

– The deputy ministers accompanied me and held meetings with their Ukrainian counterparts. They tell me that things have progressed, but I don’t want to jinx it and I think it is the ministers of agriculture and infrastructure who should announce any good news, he said.

Main photo source: TVN24



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