Belarusian migrant crisis and strengthening of Russian army on agenda as new German chancellor visits Poland



German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is in Warsaw for talks on the migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, tensions with Russia and other pressing issues facing countries neighboring the EU.

Scholz, a Social Democrat who took the helm in Germany on December 8, will meet Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on December 12 in the Polish capital.

Germany has supported Poland’s efforts to stop the flow of thousands of migrants seeking entry into Belarus, a crisis that the European Union and Poland say they have orchestrated in retaliation for sanctions against a repression of a pro-movement. democracy in the country.

The new German chancellor has called his trip to Poland a “friendly visit”, but he is expected to raise some controversial issues, including Poland’s disagreement with the EU over judicial independence.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has imposed fines on Poland after finding that judicial reforms adopted by the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party violate EU law.

Poland refused to pay the fine and its highest court ruled that Polish law could prevail over EU rules. Germany said it would help Warsaw and Brussels find a solution to the legal dispute.

Scholz told German television station ARD that it was important that EU principles remain valid throughout the bloc. But it must also be possible to enable a common perspective for the future, he said.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss Russian troops massing near Ukraine – a build-up that has raised fears of a possible invasion – and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

Morawiecki said he would urge Scholz to oppose Nord Stream 2 starting to ship gas because the pipeline could be used by Russia against Europe.

Germany’s new government has not said it will shut down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine, but Scholz said earlier this week that there will be consequences if Russia crosses the Ukrainian border.

On December 7, US President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that Nord Stream 2 could be disrupted and that severe economic sanctions would be put in place in the event of a troop invasion.

by Scholz visit to Warsaw takes place on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the treaty of good neighborliness and friendly cooperation between Poland and Germany signed on June 17, 1991.

At the end of the visit, Scholz will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Polish memorial to the soldiers who gave their lives for their country.

Warsaw is the third European capital that Scholz has visited since taking office after visits to Paris and Brussels.

With reports from Reuters, ARD and dpa

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