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Polish FM Rau Talks War in Ukraine Plus Economic Cooperation During Croatia Visit

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NATO summit preparations, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and economic cooperation are the most important points on the agenda of Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau during his visit to Croatia. Poland’s chief diplomat held talks with the Croatian Speaker of Parliament Gordan Jandroković in the morning, and will later meet with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

“These meetings are connected to several important elements of our relation,” said Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Łukasz Jasina. “Firstly, these are the preparations for the summit in Vilnius, which is one of the most important objectives of Polish diplomacy at the moment. The second matter is the integration of the Western Balkans with Europe. Croatia, which belongs to NATO and the European Union is one of the most important middlemen and guides for Poland in these endeavors.”

Bilateral cooperation, including economic cooperation, is also on the agenda. As Jasina pointed out, Croatia is visited by one million Polish tourists annually.

Minister Rau laid a wreath at the Monument to the Homeland in Zagreb and is to meet with Croatian PM Plenković.

Help for Ukraine

Minister Rau gave an interview to the Croatian “Jutarnji list” daily. Some of the topics involved assisting Ukraine and Hungary’s problematic position.

Poland and Hungary are members of the Visegrád Group (V4) together with the Czech Republic and Slovakia. While Croatia is not a part of the group, its forces occasionally reinforce the EU V4 Battle Group. This was the case in 2019, and is the case this year, with the V4 BG further being reinforced by Latvia and Lithuania.

“Only a military victory of Ukraine is a chance for a lasting and just peace, and thereby end this cruel war unleashed by Russia,” Rau said, adding that Poland unequivocally supports Ukraine’s NATO membership.

“At the same time, we realize that achieving a consensus among the allies in the matter will not be easy. Currently, we are working on convincing our allies to raise political cooperation with Ukraine to a new level. I hope that the coming NATO summit in Vilnius will bring positive resolutions in the matter,” he said.

One of the allies that seem to be causing problems is Hungary. Minister Rau said that Warsaw disagrees with Budapest’s position on the war, which Poland finds hard to understand or accept, and that this has negatively affected the countries’ mutual relations. In spite of that, Poland considers V4 to remain one of the most important platforms for regional cooperation.

“A lack of consensus within the Visegrád Group in this key question is an important problem, but temporary troubles do not mean a break in the 32-year-long collaboration in this format. We will continue to tighten our relations where possible. The states of V4 are still connected by structural similarities, thanks to which we have a whole spectrum of common interests, including the forum of the EU,” said the Polish chief diplomat.

Source: TVP World

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