Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy

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Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.


“We often see that [Germany's] intention is only follow its own goal,” Polish foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski said in an interview with DPA.

“Of course every country has the right to pursue its own interests, but in some circumstances we'd expect a certain level of compromise.”

Merkel is set to arrive in Warsaw on Friday for talks with Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, as well as the heads of state of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

The quartet have had increasingly tense relations with Berlin since Germany took in hundreds of thousands of migrants last year and started pushing for an EU-wide quota system, whereby refugees would be re-distributed across the union.

But foremost on Waszczykowski’s mind was another point of ongoing tension: relations with Russia.

He accused Germany of pushing ahead with plans for a gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea primarily for political reasons.

“That damages European solidarity,” he warned, adding that Germany should not put relations with Moscow above those with Warsaw.

The plans for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline were also criticized by the US this week, with Vice President Joe Biden describing it as "a bad deal for Europe".

Poland’s highest diplomat also criticized German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier for showing “doubt about strengthening the eastern flank [of Nato]”.

In June, Steinmeier warned against “warmongering” in the build up to a Nato summit, but said he did not mean it as a critique of military maneuvers which took place in eastern Europe.

Waszczykowski also called for Germany to play a more active role in maintaining European security and defence.

“We believe Germany should take on a more active role in defending Nato states and particularly the eastern ones.”

On the refugee issue, the Polish foreign minister again emphasized his country’s rejection of a quota system, describing it as “forced resettlement".



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