The Czech and Polish prime ministers, Petr Fiala and Mateusz Morawiecki, used the Karpacz Economic Forum to signal that the two countries have overcome past differences of opinion and are both working closely to help Ukraine.
In his remarks at the Karpacz Forum, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that it was the war in Ukraine that had woken many countries up to their failed policy towards Russia. That was the cue for the voice of Central Europe to get a hearing, but he felt that both Poland and Czechia must continue to press Ukraine’s case within the European Union.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the two countries were now “on the same wavelength” on geopolitical matters. He felt that this was a turning point in geopolitics and that it was time for those who had been consistent and had been proven right to be heard. Poland and Czechia had been warning about Russia for some time.
Morawiecki said it was vital that Ukraine was given financial as well as humanitarian and military aid so that the Ukrainian state did not implode. He also signaled that Poland and Czechia were now both of the view that the EU’s energy policy was in ruins and that there was a need to construct a new one. Poland and Czechia are reportedly working closely with the Baltic and Balkan states in the EU on this point. Morawiecki thanked Fiala and the Czechs for “this pivot in geopolitics.”
Meanwhile, Fiala told the forum that Europe could no longer be carefree over energy, and stressed that there was a need to overcome dependence for its energy supplies on dictatorships willing to use that energy to wage their wars. He also said that the energy policy in Europe must be adjusted so that it does not stifle economic development. High energy prices were a threat to both domestic users and industry, he added.
The Czech leader called for urgent action on this from the EU because of Putin’s tactics of manipulating energy prices.
“We must disarm him on that front soon,” Fiala said. Morawiecki was in agreement with his Czech counterpart and called on the EU to speed up its actions and “untie the hands of governments” to deal with the situation. He was referring to Polish proposals to set limits on Emissions Trading System (ETS) prices.
Morawiecki also complained about the European Commission’s lethargy towards helping Ukraine.
“In June, we voted for €9 billion worth of aid for Ukraine. Hardly any of that amount has actually appeared in Ukraine’s accounts,” he told the forum.
The Polish leader added that he felt too many in Brussels and Western Europe wanted to live on yesterday’s terms, but that yesterday was no more and it was time to make a shift in perception.