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Poland, Germany to cooperate in defense: PM – World

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk attend a press conference in Warsaw, Poland July 2, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

WARSAW — Poland and Germany will cooperate to enhance the protection of the European Union’s external borders and to promote European air defense, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday.

At a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Tusk said that he was pleased to hear that Germany was ready to share the responsibilities for the protection of EU’s eastern borders along with other EU member states.

According to the Polish Press Agency (PAP), Tuesday’s meeting at the Polish Prime Minister’s Office has been the first inter-governmental consultation since 2018.

Tusk has recently announced a significant initiative to strengthen Poland’s border with Belarus and Russia, known as East Shield. Talks have been underway to integrate this effort with a similar project proposed by the Baltic states.

The East Shield project, in collaboration with the Baltic states, is an infrastructural one, designed to bolster security of the European border, Tusk emphasized.

There is no doubt that it is also in the interest of Germany that the border can be protected effectively, Tusk added.

Tusk welcomed cooperation between Poland and Germany on bilateral solutions and on the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI).

The ESSI, launched by Germany in August 2022, aims to bolster ground-based air defense across Europe. Currently, 21 countries participate in the initiative, according to PAP.

For his part, Scholz said “We want to take a leadership role in the Baltic region within the framework of NATO and in protecting the eastern flank of the alliance.”

He pointed out that Poland and Germany are among the countries providing the most support to Ukraine politically, militarily, and in terms of accepting refugees from the war-torn country.

Scholz also said that Germany “wants a strong Polish voice in Europe… but in order to shape a good future, a clear view of the past is needed.” He added that the German Federal cabinet has decided to create a memorial in Berlin for the Polish victims of the Second World War and the Nazi occupation.

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