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Polish president on visit to Germany

PR dla Zagranicy
Alicja Baczyńska 16.06.2016 13:14
Polish President Andrzej Duda is in Germany for a two-day visit.
Photo: PAP/Jacek TurczykPhoto: PAP/Jacek Turczyk

Duda is set to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck. He is to discuss the extension of sanctions against Moscow, imposed after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. The meeting comes amid growing divisions over the issue among EU member states.

Ahead of the visit, Krzysztof Szczerski, a senior aide to the Polish president, said: "Until the legal international order existing in Ukraine before Russian aggression is restored, sanctions remain a legally valid instrument and should be maintained."

European leaders are to decide whether to prolong the sanctions for another six months at a Brussels summit on 28-29 June.

While in Germany, President Duda will also seek to persuade Berlin to revise its plans to construct the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The planned gas link is to connect Russia and Germany, circumventing Poland and other countries in the region.

The Polish president has long argued that the project has no economic justification and is not in the interests of Europe's energy security.

In Berlin, Duda, travelling with his wife, First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, will mark the 25th anniversary of the Polish-German Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation.

Signed in 1991, the treaty set Poland and Germany on a path of reconciliation, several decades after Nazi Germans inflicted mass destruction on Poland during World War II. Rapprochement remained elusive between Poland's communist-era rulers and the then East Germany.

Duda said in Berlin: "The enormity of what had to be overcome has no precedent in history. I am proud as the president of Poland that my nation followed the path of reconciliation with the German people. This is our great, joint achievement and an example, not only for Europe but for the world.”

Meanwhile, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has said that "political ties between Germany and Poland are not good."

A columnist for the paper points to "horrid slurs" levelled by Poland's ruling conservative Law and Justice party against Germany, and Berlin's repeated calls for Polish leaders to respect democracy and the rule of law. (aba/pk)

Source: PAP/IAR

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