| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Germany’s Olaf Scholz set for inaugural visit to Poland

Tensions with Moscow over its military build-up near Ukraine are likely to dominate the discussion, amid fears of a possible Russian invasion.
Berlin is under pressure from Poland and the United States to delay the launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany if Moscow does enter Ukrainian territory.
Nord Stream 2 has been widely criticized as leaving Europe vulnerable to the Kremlin’s influence on energy supplies as the pipeline brings Russian gas straight to Europe without the need to transit through Ukraine.
Morawiecki has said he would urge Scholz to delay the granting of permission for the pipeline to begin operations.
Efforts to tackle Belarus migrant crisis
Another key issue for discussion is the ongoing migrant crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border.
Germany has backed Poland’s efforts to stop the flow of migrants seeking entry from Belarus, a crisis the European Union has accused Minsk of engineering.
Poland’s row with the EU over judicial independence is also a priority for Scholz.
The European Court of Justice has imposed fines on Poland after it found that judicial reforms passed by the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party breached EU law.
Poland has refused to pay the fine and its own top court has ruled that Polish law can take precedence over EU rules.
Ahead of the visit, Scholz admitted to German public broadcaster ARD that differences remained, particularly concerning the rule of law issue, but said he hoped the dialogue will continue at the EU level.
Visit to end with wreath-laying ceremony
Sunday’s meeting also marks the 30th anniversary of the Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation between Poland and Germany.
At the end of the visit, Scholz will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Poland’s central memorial for soldiers who gave their lives for their country.
Warsaw will be the third European capital that Scholz has visited since taking office as German chancellor on Wednesday.
He has already paid visits to Paris and Brussels since his new center-left coalition government sent Angela Merkel’s conservatives into opposition and she retires from politics.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made her own inaugural visit to Warsaw on Friday.
She said Germany was banking on a mutually acceptable solution to Poland’s rule of law issues flagged by Brussels.
The new German coalition has emphasized that they want to work for a European Union “that protects its values and the rule of law both internally and externally.”