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Friday, May 8, 2020

PM Morawiecki was interviewed by an Italian newspaper. A few strong words were said

Interviewer, Francesca Sforza, pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic forced the Russian authorities to cancel the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II to which Poland was not invited. She asked if it was because a Russian representative was not invited to Poland on September 1. 

"Excluding Poland from the ceremonies represented a condition made by Moscow: to participate in the historical debate one should agree with the Russian narrative," -Morawiecki said. "But for Poland this would mean accepting a lie: we cannot let anyone replace the perpetrator with the victim," - he added.

When asked about Russian accusations of destroying Red Army monuments, the prime minister stated that the Red Army had been present in Poland for almost 50 years, imposing a communist regime. "The Red Army's actions on our territories were not meant to restore our independence, on the contrary, they were aimed to take our sovereignty away again," - he said. "To get it back, we had to wait until 1989"  - he added. 

He also added - "Polish authorities take care of  the burial places of all soldiers fallen in our territory, regardless of their nationality. All tombs are maintained and restored with the help of Polish public funds. I would like Russia to show similar respect for the burial places of Poles who were victims of Soviet repression."

He emphasized that Poles are aware of the importance of commemorating the war victims, as evidenced by the maintenance of former German concentration camps built in the occupied Polish territories. 

"The Polish state protects and maintains the places of extermination, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka and Majdanek. However, I note with concern the fate of memorial sites in other countries, including the remains of the Gusen camp in Austria. It was a place of extermination of the Polish intelligentsia, extermination of Polish and European Jews, but also several thousand Italian citizens. In total, citizens from 26 countries were imprisoned and murdered in Mauthausen-Gusen. Despite valuable initiatives of the local population, the Austrian state has so far not taken any real action. That is why I still believe that the initiative should be taken to buy these areas to ensure appropriate commemoration and to build an educational center. Let it be a warning to future generations."

When asked if he agrees with the opinion that Russia and China are using the coronavirus pandemic for political gains, the prime minister stated that "one cannot naively believe that all manifestations of international aid, especially those offered by countries fighting for world domination, such as Russia or China is solely due to altruistic motivations."

"Assistance in the fight against coronavirus should consist in providing good quality products, sharing the experiences and missions of medical teams, without dictating the conditions, without interfering in the internal affairs of the country benefiting from such assistance. We must be very careful that nobody uses this moment to break our alliances and threaten our security" - he noted. 

"The coronavirus pandemic has brutally made us aware how fragile is our socioeconomic order. It showed how Europe depends, for example, on supply chains from other continents. We should maintain relations with these countries, but not at the expense of our internal European solidarity" - said Morawiecki.

When asked why Poland, under the European cooperation, did not show solidarity with Italy on the issue of migrants, the Prime Minister said that "since the beginning of the crisis we have emphasized the need to act on two parallel fronts: direct humanitarian aid in the most important areas and making external EU borders more resilient so that they cannot be crossed illegally". 

"According to OECD data, Poland is a country which in recent years has received the largest number of immigrants, mainly Ukrainians. Some of them are people fleeing from war areas. We are with those who need help" - he assured. 

Morawiecki said that Poland takes the security of both the country and the entire EU very seriously. - "The war in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 are a clear sign that the danger is real. We are one of the few NATO countries that maintains the commitment to allocate 2 percent. GDP for financing the defense sector. We are actively involved in European initiatives in the field of organized military cooperation. Yes, in matters of security, Europe should speak with one voice" - said the Prime Minister.

When asked about the infringement procedure that the European Commission initiated against Poland in connection Morawiecki stated that the organization of the judicial system is a matter for the sovereign decisions of the Member States. 

"Poland, in accordance with the current constitution, strives for the honesty and transparency of the judiciary. We are aware that such honesty is not in everyone's interest, but I am pleased to say that we are not alone in this," - said the prime minister, adding that Slovakia also announced the reforms of the justice system.

Asked to present a Polish position on assistance for economies that are most affected by the pandemic, Morawiecki said: "We need a new Marshall plan based on European investments that stimulate economic development. The differences between the economies of EU countries do not allow the same mechanism to be applied to everyone. For this reason, we need to understand the situation in the countries of southern Europe just as we expect to understand our needs. We should develop an ambitious budget that will allow real help to reach the needy citizens as soon as possible."