Speaker of Poland's parliament urges EU to look eastwards

Other News Materials 20 April 2008 16:59 (UTC +04:00)

The European Union should look eastwards, enhancing contacts with Ukraine and promoting the democratization of Belarus, the speaker of the Polish parliament said Sunday during a visit to Berlin. ( dpa )

Sejm Marshal Bronislaw Komorowski said the thrust of Polish foreign policy was to promote the modernization and democratization of Ukraine "following the Western example."

"The point is to bind the country into NATO and the EU," he said, adding that Poland as a country was recovering from decades under communist rule like Ukraine, and had a lot to offer in this regard.

Germany was the EU country that could most easily share Poland's aim of a common new "Ostpolitik," Komorowski said in an interview with Das Parlament, an official publication issued by the German Bundestag.

He criticized the fact that 70 per cent of EU funding for enhancing links with its neighbours was dedicated to countries south of the bloc.

"We are fighting for more funding for neighbourhood policies with Ukraine and other countries east of the EU," he said.

Poland also sought good relations between the EU and Russia,Komorowski said, while also reiterating Poland's strongly critical attitude towards the Nord Stream gas pipeline planned to link Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland.

Komorowski said the fact that the Baltic pipeline was considerably more expensive than an overland alternative showed that the decision to build it had been politically rather than economically motivated.

The Sejm marshal called for a united EU energy policy with regard to Russia.

The liberalization of the energy market, the influence of energy concerns on political decision-making and the diversification of energy sources were the core issues, he said.

But Komorowski said no preconditions should be set on Russia, such as compelling Moscow to ratify the EU Energy Charter regulating trade, transport and investment in the sector. Moscow has declined to ratify the treaty, signed in Lisbon in 1994.

Regarding the planned controversial stationing of elements of a US missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, Komorowski said he believed the shield should be a general NATO project, protecting all European capitals.