Poland and Germany want to assume leading role in protection of NATO's eastern flank - Scholz

  • 2024-07-02
  • LETA/AFP/TBT Staff

WARSAW - Germany should be the leader of Europe's security, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday in a sign of improved ties between two countries with often highly fraught relations.

Former EU chief Tusk came to power in Poland last year, replacing a government led by the populist Law and Justice party which was characterized by its deeply anti-German rhetoric.

"I cannot imagine that Germany would not be the leader for Europe's common security, including Poland's," Tusk said at a press conference with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The meeting included the first talks between the Polish and German governments in six years.

"Poland, as one of the greatest victims of the Second World War, and Germany as the perpetrators of this destruction, this tragedy of World War II, today as free, democratic, European nations, should jointly and effectively ensure that Europe is safe," said Tusk, who heads a pro-European government.

Scholz agreed that "the security of Poland is also that of Germany".

"This means precisely that we (Poland and Germany) want to assume a leading role in the Baltic region within the framework of NATO and in the protection of the eastern flank of the EU."

The two leaders discussed defense cooperation as well as countering illegal immigration which has become a problem on Poland's eastern border with Belarus.