Croatian and Polish PMs discuss migrant crisis, energy, cooperation

  • Photo /Vijesti/2021/studeni/23 studenoga/56-min.png

Poland is faced with orchestrated attempts to be destabilised by illegally organised influx of irregular migrants from Belarus, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said after his meeting with his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki in Zagreb, adding that Croatia has a similar problem.

"This is an orchestrated attempt of destabilise Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Croatia is perhaps, faced with similar attempts of illegal migrations from time to time," he said.

Croatia is aware how important it is to protect the borders of Poland and Croatia, which contributes to the safety and security of our citizens as well as to the compliance with European and international norms, the PM said.

Over the latest months, Belarus authorities have been transporting undocumented migrants, who have mainly come from Iraq, to the Belarus border with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

The European Commission and Poland accuse Minsk of trying to exert pressure on the European Union to back off from the economic sanctions imposed on Belarus over the the human rights' violations.

Morawiecki also said that the migrants are treated as an instrument of political pressure and are used as a tool to destabilise Poland.

He believes that the artificially caused migrants' crisis, the build-up of the Russian army around the border with Ukraine and along the border of the Kaliningrad Oblast, energy crisis partly caused by the Russian manipulation of the gas prices are the models of the Russian political pressure on the entire European Union.

(Lack of) Stability in Southeast Europe

Plenković said that he and Morawiecki had discussed the situation in southeastern Europe, notably in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and added that Croatia considered it particularly important the issue of agreement on the election law so that the Bosnia and Herzegovina Croats, as a constituent and equal people, in compliance with the just election law, can elect their legitimate representatives to the top authorities and agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Morawiecki said that many regimes, such as the Belarus regime that incite the destabilisation further from their borders were responsible for a rise in various destabilisation processes in the Balkans, however, he stopped short of specifying which regime he thought of.

Polish-Croatian relations excellent

Croatia's Prime Minister said that the political relations between Zagreb and Warsaw were excellent and that the Croatians and the Poles were close nations.

Morawiecki said that Poland "strongly supports" Croatia's entry into the Schengen Area and thanked Plenković for "permanent support, support to the Three Seas' Initiative as well as for the deployment of Croatian troops in Poland".

Concerning the economic cooperation, the premier said that over a million Poles spent holidays this summer season in Croatia, and thus Poland ranks third after Germany and Slovenians in terms of the customers market this summer.

North Stream 2 will make Europe more dependent on Russia's gas provision

The Polish Prime Minister commented in the North Stream 2 route for providing Russian gas supplies directly to Germany.

Russia is exerting pressure on Poland and the whole European Union by North Stream 2. A part of the European Union is strongly dependent on Russian energy products, and if the North Stream 2 starts functioning, we can conclude it will make that part even more dependent, Morawiecki said, adding Russia will make use of gas as a political currency.

Plenković said that Croatia had several principled positions.

Croatia wants to develop good cooperation with all countries and all countries in the neighbourhood and good cooperation with the big countries and the most influential countries in the world.

At the same time, Croatia takes care of respecting some fundamental principles, including the respect for the sovereignty of other countries and their territorial integrity.

Croatia finds it important for cooperation not to be such that someone rich in some energy products can influence the growth of energy products' prices in other countries, he added.

Therefore, we have implemented the project of the LNG terminal on Krk that has enabled diversification of gas supply routes, he said.

Text: Hina