Polish reporter says France and Germany 'two faced' over Russia
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Polish journalist and political commentator George Byczynski has slapped down Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz for not taking a tougher stance on Russia amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. While on a visit to the Conservative Conference, Mr Byczynski spoke with Express.co.uk and thanked Britain for helping Poland secure the EU’s border.
Mr Byczynski told Express.co.uk: “Unfortunately Germany and France were a little bit double-faced.
“I feel they’re waking up now they’ve understood that being in bed with Russians is slightly problematic.
“When it comes to Britain I know from my friends who are just normal Polish people or people from the government, they’re so thankful that the Royal Engineers, Light Dragoons. They came to Poland and helped secure the border of Poland.
“I mean, Polish borders the European border and is very secure now, thanks to the British support. So I know a lot of people were enormously thankful to Britain for that support.”
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European Union leaders on Friday agreed to give more financial and military aid to Ukraine, but a full day of talks in Prague’s ornate royal castle seemed to bring them no closer to deciding on whether or how to cap gas prices.
Most of the EU’s 27 countries want a cap on gas prices, but disagree on the details, with options including a cap on all gas, a “dynamic corridor”, a price ceiling on gas used for power generation specifically or on Russian gas only.
The EU has been discussing the matter for weeks, so far without result, although the 27 have agreed other joint steps to help them weather an acute energy crunch as runaway prices threaten to bring about a recession in the bloc.
“Everyone agrees we need to lower power prices but there is no agreement what instruments to use to that end exactly,” Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.
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Warsaw also lashed out at Berlin over its plan to spend up to 200 billion euros ($196 billion) in subsidies to shield German consumers and businesses from soaring energy costs.
“The richest country, the most powerful EU country is trying to use this crisis to gain a competitive advantage for their businesses on the single market. This is not fair, this is not how the single market should work,” Morawiecki said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the gathering cleared “misunderstandings” about Berlin’s package, which he defended as the right thing to do, adding that France, the Netherlands and others had their own support measures in place as well.
French President Emmanuel Macron, however, said the package had created “tensions” among countries who can’t finance such a big national package, and added that a solution would be to let member states tap a European fund that has provided loans for furloughs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, underlined the need for joint gas procurement.
“At the end of the winter, when our storages will be depleted, it is of paramount importance that we have a joint procurement of gas so that we avoid to outbid each other …,that we have a collective bargaining power,” she said.
While squabbling over ways out of the energy crisis, the bloc showed unity in vowing continued support for Ukraine.
“We are determined to mobilise all possible tools and means to support Ukraine with financial means, with military support, with humanitarian support and of course with political support,” said the summit’s chairman, Charles Michel.
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