During an interview for Polish public television (TVP), President Andrzej Duda emphasized that on Monday in Budapest the Visegrad Four presidents passed a joint declaration in which they clearly pointed out who is responsible for the current crisis.
“It is Lukashenko’s regime. Also, the representatives of other states declared support for Polish services who are not only protecting Poland’s security, but also that of the EU and NATO’s Eastern flank,” Duda said.
The president declared that Polish policy at the border has the full support of Europe and other countries throughout the world. He stated that during his last week meeting with NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, he emphasized the importance of the Suwalki Corridor (the part of land in the northeast of Poland where the border with Lithuania is located) in context of the current crisis and potential military threats.
Stoltenberg later visited the Baltic states and Duda underlined that such a visit was incredibly important because it built a sense of security in Central and Eastern Europe.
The president also spoke about the actions of Poland’s opposition politicians, who opposed the construction of a border wall and organized disturbances and protests at the border. He called those actions “detrimental to Poland.”
“These are irresponsible voices and some are trying to build up their popularity in this way. We must care for the security of Poles and that is ensured by our Border Guard or police officers. This is why we introduced a state of emergency, so that law enforcement could work without interference,” he said.
Duda noted that “10 million Poles had voted for him and that he knew what their expectations were: Poles want to feel safe.”
The Polish president also referred to the possibility of further Russian aggression in Ukraine. He stated that Europe was not interested in putting pressure on Russia and offered the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as an example of this lax approach.
“We can see how Germany behaved in that situation. They pressed for the pipeline to be completed, and it is an incredibly harmful investment not just for our region, but for all of the EU because it significantly strengthens Gazprom’s monopoly,” he said.
Duda noted that several different financial and political lobbies made it impossible to block the Nord Stream 2 investment.
In context of Poland’s current relations with the EU, the president stressed that EU officials who were attacking Poland should understand that Poles were defending countries such as Germany and the Netherlands against a flood of migrants.
“Migrants openly stated that their goal isn’t Poland and that we are merely a transit country for them. We are a responsible member of the EU, and we are fulfilling our responsibilities by caring for the border’s integrity,” Duda declared.