Scholz in Warsaw to discuss migration, energy, EU

AP , Sunday 12 Dec 2021

Germany's new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, is coming to Warsaw Sunday afternoon for talks with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki about migration, energy, European Union matters and tensions east of the bloc's border.

press conference
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (R) and her Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau bump fists after holding a joint press conference in Warsaw, on December 10, 2021.AFP

It is one of Scholz's early visits after he was sworn in with his coalition Cabinet on Wednesday.

Poland is a vocal opponent of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is to carry Russian gas directly to Germany, saying it makes Europe dependent on Russia's deliveries.

The government in Warsaw is also involved in an intensifying dispute with the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, which is withholding pandemic recovery funds from Poland saying the government's policies erode judicial independence there.

Scholz and Morawiecki are also to discuss complex bilateral relations under Germany's new government. The good neighborly ties are still overshadowed by World War II, especially under Poland's current nationalist government.

Germany's new foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, was in Warsaw on Friday. She voiced Germany's support for Poland which has sealed its eastern frontier to migrants who are apparently encouraged by the Belarus government to seek illegal passage. She also called for humanitarian treatment of the migrants stuck at the border.

On Friday, Scholz met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and later with EU and NATO officials in Brussels.

Scholz, a center-left politician, became Germany's ninth post-World War II chancellor, opening a new era for the EU's most populous nation and largest economy after Angela Merkel's 16-year tenure.

His government is composed of a coalition of his center-left Social Democrats, the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats.

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