Polish PM on ‘short-sighted’ EU states and ‘imperial’ Russia

WARSAW (Parliament Politics Magazine) – According to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, President Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal” who is conducting “genocide” in Ukraine, and the European Union must not continue “business as usual” with Russia as long as he is in power.

This Russia was totalitarian, imperial and nationalistic and it wanted to restore the Russian empire and a post-Soviet Union sort of state, Morawiecki added.

They didn’t believe there would be a return to business as normal. Women and children were losing their lives. Russia was committing genocide and war crimes in Ukraine. Not with that administration, he continued.

“Putin is a war criminal and what he’s responsible for in Ukraine is simply beyond one’s imagination. I think we should create an international tribunal to trace the crimes and make justice again when the war is over.”

Morawiecki spoke with Efi Koutsokosta of Euronews at the conclusion of an international donors’ meeting in Warsaw that he co-hosted with Magdalena Andersson, the prime minister of Sweden.

The conference raised €6 billion to help Ukraine’s continuing humanitarian needs.

“We gathered more than we expected,” Morawiecki stated.  However, considering Ukraine’s immense needs and the ongoing horrific war, that quantity of money was insufficient, he added.

During the conversation, the Polish Prime Minister discussed Russia’s “brutal” invasion of Ukraine and the geopolitical ramifications for the entire continent.

Since the outbreak of the conflict on February 24, Poland has been at the forefront of international condemnation of Russia, calling for weapons deliveries and the most severe EU sanctions possible.

He believed that the war would end sooner rather than later. But it all rested on the Ukrainian people’s strength and determination. As a result, they should all be grateful for their incredible bravery and heroism, as well as what they were doing to maintain their sovereignty and freedom, he stated

The world was aware they were defending, on the barricades, not just their freedom but also the security and peace of Europe.

Russia’s nuclear threats, according to Morawiecki, are a “symbol of their weakness,” and the Kremlin will think “twice” before increasing military violence towards neighbouring countries like Moldova.

However, no one knew because that was in the hands of Kremlin leaders, he admitted.

‘Bigger countries sought to put things off’

The PM spoke a day after the European Commission proposed a progressive EU-wide embargo on Russian oil imports, cutting off one of the Kremlin’s key revenue sources.

The prohibition is viewed as the EU’s most drastic step to date, and it has alarmed several highly reliant countries, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, which have demanded a longer implementation time.

When asked about the oil ban negotiations, Morawiecki remarked, “Frankly speaking, different nations are in different positions in terms of dependency on oil and gas, and we understand this.”

There were discussions with the European Commission concerning possible interim periods. They would not, however, obstruct those sanctions, as far as he was aware. 

The war has exposed the EU’s deep reliance on Russian energy, which was established on the premise that greater trade ties with Moscow would bring Russia closer to the West. Russian troops’ entry in and bombing of the cities Ukraine crumbled the long-held idea overnight.

Gazprom, a Russian energy firm, said last week that it would stop supplying gas to Bulgaria and Poland.

He had always argued for the most severe sanctions. So he was aware of what he was saying, the Prime Minister stated.

They should not be looking for some scapegoat or raise fingers at this or that country because they knew there were much bigger countries that were trying to decelerate, stop, procrastinate or postpone, Morawiecki added, presumably referring to Germany, which has been accused of enabling Putin’s regime through appeasement policy.

Germany has aggressively maintained the legitimacy of Nord Stream 2, an underwater pipeline that would carry more Russian gas directly into the country, until the week before the war broke out. The highly contentious project began in 2015, a year after Russia annexed Crimea.

There were nations that were so reliant on Russian gas and sought to become even more reliant on Russian gas, and everybody knew who they were, the Polish PM remarked.

They were blind because they couldn’t foresee what would happen as a result of their dependency. Putin made use of that as a form of blackmail against the rest of the European Union, he added.

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.