Russia never ceased to be aggressive: PM for ‘Le Figaro’

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was interviewed by the French “Le Figaro” daily.

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One of the topics of the interview was the policy concerning Russia. In the opinion of Mr Morawiecki, the “weakness” of the European response to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is caused by the fact that some of the EU countries are “tired with this conflict.”

In his opinion, the stronger sense of the Eastern European countries to the Russian threat is a result of the history and the geographical location. The PM stressed that Poland was “enslaved” by the Soviet Red Army after WWII.

“Our country and other societies in Eastern Europe think that the whole region exists in the shadow of Moscow, that in fact, it has never ceased to be aggressive,” Mr Morawiecki stressed.

The PM also spoke about the differences between the eastern and western parts of the EU in reference to the issue of accepting migrants. He stressed that those differences come from a different level of economic development.

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“Germany is one of the wealthiest countries of the world. They have access to funds allowing them to run any social policy, especially financing migrants. West Germany was not occupied and pillaged by the Red Army,” the Polish PM stressed.

Mr Morawiecki pointed out that at the beginning of the Polish transformation, the GDP per capita in Poland equalled only 10 percent of the German GDP, while now it is 50 percent.

“Why should Poland, which is less wealth and which had to go through terrible periods, contribute to accepting non-European migrants as much as Germany does? In our opinion this is discrimination. Do I have to recall that we have accepted 1.5 mln Ukrainians, of which around 10 percent came from a war zone in Donbas?” the PM said.

In reference to his vision of future Europe, Mr Morawiecki said that he supports the idea of the Europe of the Nation States, which would allow the particular nations to maintain their cultural identity.

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“The European nations have amazing cultures. Only by maintaining our culture can we enrich the EU. Something opposite cannot exist, because there is no such thing as a universal European identity, despite the fact there are European values which we all accept,” Mr Morawiecki said. He also emphasised that there is no topic of leaving the EU by Poland. “We are one of the most pro-EU countries in Europe. Nearly 87 percent of Poles support the Union,” he stressed.

The Polish PM was also asked about the accusations that Poland is limiting the freedom of media and the independence of courts. “The criticism we face is unjustified. We totally respect freedom of speech, even more than our predecessors,” he stressed, adding that nearly 80 percent of media in Poland is controlled by the foreign capital or opposition.

In reference to the reforms of the judiciary, Mr Morawiecki said that after the fall of communism in Poland there was no purification of judges, as happened in France after WWII where judges associated with Vichy government collaboration were removed from their positions by Charles de Gaulle, and like in Germany where after unification 70 percent of judges from the communist East Germany were dismissed.

“Nobody in Poland was punished for their crimes in the 1980s. Why? Because the judges, who had been protecting their own past had been releasing people responsible for crimes,” he stressed.