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Mateusz Morawiecki calls for a strong European army

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Poland – On the fifth day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poland continued to lead the mobilisation for Ukraine in Europe. In an interview published on Sunday in the German daily Berliner Morgenpost, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke at length about this conflict, which he said also threatens other European countries.

“This is total invasion” 

I am saddened and shocked by what has happened. This is total invasion.

Russia wants to annihilate Ukraine as a sovereign state. President Vladimir Putin aims to occupy Ukraine and install a puppet government in Kiev”,

explained the prime minister of a country that has itself experienced Russian occupation several times in its history.

Containing Putin’s neo-imperial aspirations

We need a very tough set of sanctions against Moscow”, he went on to say, and “NATO’s eastern flank must be strengthened in a decisive way [as] only determination can contain Putin’s neo-imperial aspirations. (…)

It must be assumed that Putin will continue his aggressive policy [as] in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. The next target could be the Baltic States, Poland, Finland…” 

A strong European army

The Polish Prime Minister has called for a strong European army capable of dealing with Russian threats: “At the meeting of the Council of the European Union,

I proposed the creation of a very strong European army that would be integrated into NATO. The EU should double its defence spending from about 300 billion euros at present to 500–600 billion euros.

It is not something impossible. (…) This is the only way for the EU to become a ’global player’. It is the only way we can all be safe. (…) It is extremely important to strengthen the military aspect of our security. (…)

In Poland alone, we would like to see an additional 20,000 to 30,000 NATO troops – on top of the 6,000 already present. But Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia also need support.” 

Welcoming Ukrainian refugees 

Mateusz Morawiecki also addressed the issue of Ukrainian refugees, who during the weekend had already began to flock to neighbouring countries, including Poland:

The number of Ukrainian refugees in Poland has quadrupled. More than 100,000 people have come to Poland since the beginning of the invasion.

Some of them are directed to reception centres. Others go inside the country: to their families, friends or acquaintances who are already in Poland. (…)

We are ready to receive tens, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.”