Our response to Russia’s war is a test of our democratic values: PM

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“Our response to the Russian war is a real test to show that we genuinely support democratic values,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Monday in Paris during the meeting with representatives of the Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF). He also met with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss rising energy prices, visas for Russian citizens and support for Ukraine.

During his meeting with the French Head of State, the Polish Prime Minister discussed EU efforts to stop further Russian aggression, energy security in Europe and potential cooperation in defense and nuclear energy .

“Clearly, security is a prerequisite for rapid economic growth and that is why Poland and France, arm in arm, are considering ways to strengthen Europe’s defense potential,” Morawiecki said. .

He added that the cooperation of the Polish and French defense industries can lead to a strengthening of the defense potential of the whole region.

Russian gas dependency

When Mateusz Morawiecki met with representatives of MEDEF, he said that EU countries must “face together all the challenges of modern times”. “First the pandemic, then the economic crisis, then the brutal war, in which Russia wants to crush Ukraine and now the risk of an energy and food crisis looming on the horizon. These are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse of our time”, underlined the Prime Minister.

The head of the Polish government stressed that “for too long the low price of Russian gas has been an important value for many countries. Not for France, but for many of our neighbors”. “The real price of cheap gas today is Ukrainian blood,” he said.

He went on to say that “the energy is being used to make the whole continent sing”.

“If we want freedom, prosperity, then we have to change this dependence that we have on Russia. Therefore, I am convinced that Russia’s attitude towards war is a real test to show whether we really appreciate democratic values,” the prime minister said.

The head of government pointed out that for years Europe has been divided between Eastern Europe and Western Europe. “Today, the only division that should exist is between countries focused on peace and development and those focused on war,” Prime Minister Morawiecki stressed.

A way out of the crisis

“Today there is only one way out of the crisis: close economic cooperation, joint projects and joint investments,” said Mateusz Morawiecki. “Many, if not most, of these investments should be focused on climate change and related projects as well as energy efficiency,” he said.

“We must become a continent of new investments, new technologies, including nuclear technologies,” the prime minister said.

Energy prices, visas for Russian citizens and support for Ukraine

According to Mateusz Morawiecki, the European Union has the possibility of reforming the mechanisms responsible for calculating energy prices on the European market.

“We should apply price reductions by special measures led by the European Commission, for example up to the level of 30 euros. Today, these prices fluctuate between 90 and 80 euros and therefore significantly increase inflation”, said the prime minister.

He also pointed out that Poland, along with Finland and the Baltic states, support blocking all visas for Russian citizens, except for humanitarian visas.

“Now is not the time to take advantage of Russian tourists’ money. We must send a very strong signal to Russia, to all Russian citizens, that their actions in favor of Putin are unacceptable,” said the head of the Polish government.

“Sealing the visa system, shaping it in such a way that Russians cannot enjoy the normal benefits of travel, is the right thing to do,” he added.

The Polish Prime Minister also told reporters that he had asked Emmanuel Macron for urgent arms deliveries to Ukraine and increased financial support.

The Prime Minister also referred to the difficult situation on the other side of Poland’s eastern border and stressed that Ukrainians are also fighting for Europe.

“If we don’t support them (the Ukrainians), it would mean that we have betrayed them. (…) Poland and France never betray their friends. To betray them would be to betray freedom and fraternity, and these are very important ideals, values ​​that are in the hearts of the Poles and, I think, also of the French,” Prime Minister Morawiecki said.

The Polish Prime Minister then underlined the importance of NATO as a key guarantor of Poland’s security. He thanked the French president for the role played by France in strengthening NATO’s eastern flank.

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