During his trip to the Polish capital, the newly appointed German foreign minister met Polish President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, and his Polish counterpart, Jacek Czaputowicz.
During a joint conference, Czaputowicz and Maas spoke about reforming the EU, the Nord Stream II gas pipeline and the restoration of the Weimar Triangle.
Czaputowicz said that Poland is ready to solve EU’s problems jointly with Germany and other countries and “to take responsibility for reforms in the EU.”
“The main goal in [Poland’s] and Germany’s foreign policies is a strong EU, a united EU that is not of different speeds or split into different areas,” Czaputowicz said.
“Considering the current discussions in Europe, it is important that formulas such as the Weimar Triangle are restored,” Maas said, pointing to French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent proposals for reforming the European bloc.
“Despite divergent points of view on various issues, Poland and Germany are irreplaceable neighbours, friends and important partners,” Maas added.
Polish, German FMs discuss Nord Stream II gas pipeline
The foreign ministers discussed the recent nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal. The UK believes Russia is behind the poisoning, although Moscow denies involvement.
Questioned whether the incident would shift Germany’s stand on the Nord Stream II gas pipeline, Maas said: “We want to hold a close dialogue on the matter, but [the pipeline] is a commercial and economic project, and we must abide by this principle.”
The planned gas link between Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland, Ukraine and other countries, has been a bone of contention between Warsaw and Berlin.
Czaputowicz said that Poland’s take on the issue was that “the project is political in character.” He added that Great Britian was reevaluating its approach to Nord Stream II. “In line with a declaration by [British Prime Minister] Theresa May, Great Britain will want to drop Russian gas deliveries,” he said, citing his Friday talks with British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.
Czaputowicz said that the project “allows Russia to gain financial means… which are used to modernise its army, allowing the country to carry out its aggressive policy in Georgia, Ukraine and currently in Syria -- a policy directed against the Western international community.”
The construction of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline is to be completed by the end of 2019. By then Moscow intends to stop delivering gas via pipelines running through Ukrainian territory. (aba)