We have a duty to stand by Ukraine: Polish PM in Slovakia

The third Intergovernmental consultations led by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger were held on Friday in Vyšné Ružbachy, in the Prešov Region of northern Slovakia. During a joint press conference, both prime ministers stated that Poland and Slovakia were united in their perspectives on the situation in Ukraine.

Poland and Slovakia are friends and neighbours who have not turned their backs on Ukraine. Together we are helping Ukraine and we will continue to cooperate in this matter because we realise how important it is in the context of our history that Ukraine remains a free and democratic country,” said Slovak Prime Minister Heger. He also said that further sanctions should be imposed on Russia.

Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki praised Slovakia’s support for sanctions against Moscow, pointing out that the decision was more difficult for this country than it was for Poland, as Slovakia depended on Russian gas to a much greater extent. He assured that Poland would help Slovakia cut gas imports from Russia by opening a gas interconnector between the two countries. Heger said that the connection would be tested in July 2022.

Mateusz Morawiecki said that Poland was strongly critical of anyone contesting the imposition of sanctions on Russia: “We are equally indignant over anyone protesting against the sanctions, regardless whether it is Hungary or Germany,” he said, as the two countries have been reluctant to impose sanctions. Morawiecki stressed that Russia was waging “a total war against the Ukrainians and Ukraine,” and committing crimes against them. “These crimes have to be called crimes, we must not pretend that they are something else,” Morawiecki said, adding that caution in this respect was “a bad and inappropriate attitude which must be condemned.”

Morawiecki also stressed that Putin’s main intention was to rebuild the Russian empire. “Extending their sphere of influence to Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland would follow right after Russian victory over Ukraine,” he stated. “The war started by Russia is not limited to Ukraine and to military matters. Russia launched an attack on the security related to energy and food, and brought about massive inflation,” said Morawiecki, explaining that the invaders were deliberately trying to destabilise the European economy.