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Morawiecki wants to set up an “anti-Putin shield”

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Poland – Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Friday 18 March his intention to set up what he called an “anti-Putin shield” with the aim of “de-Russifying” the Polish economy.

“De-Russification of the Polish economy”

In a recent press conference, Mateusz Morawiecki reminded everyone that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was causing “enormous economic turbulence, enormous problems”, but that his government wanted the Poles to come out “stronger [and] more resilient”:

“We will proceed with the de-Russification of the Polish economy. […] The government has decided to set up an anti-Putin shield”.

Fertiliser subsidies

The first part of these measures will include lowering high food prices and further investment in Poland’s energy independence.

“We need to act at the source, where farmers bear the highest costs. […] That is why fertilizers, being one of the components of the food production process, will be the first element of the anti-Putin shield”.

As a result, farmers will receive a subsidy of 500 zlotys (105 euros) per hectare for cultivated land and 250 zlotys per hectare for pastures and meadows – within the respective limit of 50 ha.

Reduction of Polish energy dependence

Finally, the Polish Prime Minister insisted on the need to reduce Poland’s energy dependence:

“Gas blackmail, the use of energy resources as an element of war… are actions that we must fight on many fronts.

[…] By preventing the possibility of blackmail by Putin, we will de facto introduce lower gas prices. […] All this will contribute to the de-Russification of the Polish and European economy. […] All of this will cost money, but it is the price to pay for Europe to be or not”.

Confiscation of Russian property and assets in Poland

In addition, Mateusz Morawiecki also announced his intention – in accord with the opposition – to examine “how Poland could freeze and confiscate Russian property located in [the] country”: “On the one hand,

there are constitutional limits to such an action, related to the right of property, and on the other hand, more and more Poles do not understand why, since the Italians are confiscating the Russian oligarchs’ yachts, can’t we carry out such an action in our country.

We want to bring this process through the Sejm, and we have decided that the opposition should be involved. […] There are real estate and financial assets, that is to say, shares of companies that we ought to seize. […] In any case, our camp is strongly in favour of it”.

Konfederacja denounces the “privileges” granted to Ukrainian refugees

At the same time, the massive reception of Ukrainian refugees – over two million since the start of the war on 24 February – is causing diverging opinions on the right of the political spectrum. Thus the leaders of the Konfederacja party, an alliance of nationalists and libertarians, denounced the privileges granted to Ukrainian refugees, MP Krzysztof Bosak declaring in particular on Twitter:

“Yes to aid, no to privileges! The overzealousness demonstrated by the government and certain institutions creates a feeling of injustice. Not only among Poles, but also among those Ukrainians that arrived earlier. Caution must be exercised!”

Krzysztof Bosak explained that Poland’s aid to refugees should be limited to

“a roof over their heads, cleaning supplies, food [and] medical care.”

This dent in the consensus around solidarity towards Ukraine, however, provoked some hostile reactions, the media deciding to altogether boycott the Konfederacja press conference on this subject.