Russia fears: Poland and Ukraine could sparker wider conflict
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The staunch attack came from the head of the country’s ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczyński. Speaking to the far-right Polish daily GPC, he said that some nations “are not enthusiastic at the prospect of a German Fourth Reich being built on the basis of the EU”.
He added: “If we Poles agreed with this kind of modern-day submission we would be degraded in different ways.”
Mr Kaczyński also warned that the EU’s Court of Justice (ECJ) was being used as an “instrument” to pursue a federal project for the bloc.
The attack comes after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Moraqiecki and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had already clashed earlier this month over Nord Stream 2 pipeline delivering natural gas from Russia to Germany.
Mr Scholz said his government is committed to safeguarding Ukraine’s role as a transit route for gas into Europe as Russian troop movements along the Ukrainian border increased pressure on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Nord Stream 2, which would carry Russian gas to Germany and bypass Ukraine, has not been certified due to regulatory hurdles, while Poland and the US have demanded a halt to the pipeline should Russia invade Ukraine.
Germany’s new government has not made a public commitment to block it.
During his first visit to Poland as chancellor, Mr Scholz said Germany felt responsible for ensuring Ukraine’s gas transit business was successful, echoing his predecessor Angela Merkel.
He said: “The same goes for future opportunities.
“We will also help Ukraine be a country that will be a major source of renewable energy and the necessary production that results from that. We are in concrete talks around how we can help achieve that.”
But Mr Morawiecki argued the pipeline “increases the ability of the Kremlin to put pressure on Ukraine and the European Union.”
He added: “We’re very nervous about the scenarios that could take place after the opening of Nord Stream 2.”
He added that other Eastern European countries could be “blackmailed” by Russia.
He continued: “That’s why I told the chancellor about the great risks involved in opening Nord Stream 2.”
Poland has also been locking horns with Brussels over issues of rule of law and human rights.
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The row led to the EU Commission’s decision to withhold recovery funds destined to Warsaw before the end of the year.
European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said at the beginning of December: “The approval work is ongoing. It is unlikely that we will be able to finalise it this year.”
He spoke at the end of the meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels.
If the plans had been approved, Poland would have been entitled to a first instalment of 13 percent of the total of €23.9 billion in subsidies it is due to receive over the next five years.
Under pressure from the Parliament and the member states, the Commission has set conditions for the release of EU funds.
Brussels wants firm commitments to guarantee the independence of the justice system for Warsaw.
Tensions have been running high with the government of Mateuzs Morawiecki since the Polish Constitutional Court ruled that certain articles of the EU treaties are “incompatible” with the national constitution.
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