Pressemøde den 23. februar 2023


Press conference 23.2.2023.

“Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:

Welcome, all of you. Dear Prime Minister, dear Mateusz, it has been a pleasure to welcome you in Copenhagen today. Poland is a very valued partner for Denmark. You are a trusted ally in NATO, we work closely together within the European Union. And not least, a strong and important supporter of Ukraine.

Poland and Denmark have been on the same page from the very beginning of this terrible war in Ukraine. And you have said from day one that you will support our friends and our neighbours in Ukraine as long as it takes. Denmark is at the same position, and that is maybe the most important thing to repeat today, that Poland and Denmark and many other of our allies will be with Ukraine, as long as it takes, also with regards to what the American President said when he was visiting Kyiv just a few days ago.

Tomorrow we are going to mark a very dark anniversary. It is now one year since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. One year of war in Europe. I think we can be very proud of our response. We have worked closely together to make sure that we will have sanctions that are as hard as possible. That we donate what is needed in Ukraine and we will continue to support the country with financial help, humanitarian aid. You have received a very high number of Ukrainian refugees.

And we will, of course, both countries, still support Ukraine when it comes to military equipment, donations, training of soldiers, and so on. So, this is what we have discussed today and that is how the two of us, together with other allies, can continue our support to Ukraine. I would like to, actually, thank you personally, because you have played a very important role in NATO and in the EU and with your historical background, you have been a very important voice in telling the rest of us that this war in Ukraine is not only a war in Ukraine. This is the idea of Europe. This is our values, it's our freedom, it's our democracy. And it is, I think, the whole idea of a rule based international world society that is on the table in these critical weeks and months, and now, years, in Europe. So, thank you very much for our cooperation and, as I said in the beginning, it's a pleasure to welcome you to Copenhagen today.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki:

Thank you very much, Mette, for this kind invitation and for all those discussions which we used to have. Indeed, it is a very special day when we meet the day before the anniversary of this brutal attack, when Europe was awakened from its geopolitical slumber in a way. Every day since then Ukraine has defended its freedom and Europe has passed a test of solidarity, and I have to tell everybody that this was also thanks to Mette, thanks to (the) Prime Minister of Denmark, because we always have to look for common denominators, so to say, and solutions which would be acceptable for 27 countries, and this is why we, repeatedly, said today, both Mette and myself: Ukraine must win this war. Russia must be defeated, which is not only a semantic difference from “Ukraine has to be defended and cannot lose this war”. We are very much convinced that Ukraine must win this war, because this is the only way to create long-term stability and peace around us, which is the foundation for development in any circumstances.

And also, we are supportive of Ukraine's path to the European Union and to NATO as well, and I believe that this is such a turning moment in the history of at least this region of Europe, that we should think out of the box. We should be brave in our thinking. God forbid, if Ukraine gets conquered by Russia – you know, it can very quickly cause turmoil around us, but also disarray and chaos in the Far East. China may attack Taiwan and all sorts of disorder may appear on the horizon. This is why this is such a focal point, and I trust that our mutual understanding and cooperation is so vitally important in order to explain, to persuade the others of how critical it is to support Ukraine, and train soldiers, as Mette said, and the rest of our support.

And then the cost of restoring peace in such a situation, once more, if, God forbid, Ukraine gets conquered, would be much, much higher than today's costs, which we bear together with the European Union and with the United States and other allies.

Not all the countries were equally aware of the Russian threat. Prior to the war. But my government was emphasising this, and I was quite vocal on the European Council meetings many times about North Stream 2, and other projects which were really dangerous projects and led to this aggression as well. We knew that Russia would, sooner or later, move on to the next phase of its imperial policy, and this is happening, because Russia is weaponizing everything. Weaponizing natural resources, they are weaponizing wheat and crops now. So, they wanted to stimulate global famine, or famine in Africa at least. And this is why having such an adversary, having such a country next door to us, we have to be vigilant, and we have to cooperate so closely with each other, as we do. So, we've also formed many coalitions within the NATO countries and European Union countries to support Ukraine. One of the coalitions is the Leopard tanks coalition, and we've discussed this. I tried to create such a coalition, to realise it, so that there are tanks behind our promises and behind our words, going to Ukraine. Right now, in Poland, many Ukrainian soldiers are being trained in how to drive those leopard tanks. And Poland will, probably, be first – or one of the first to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

The new geopolitical order also requires strong points of support, linked by bridges of cooperation. And such a bridge of cooperation which we have, together with Mette, is really and truly extraordinary.

I have to mention the Baltic Pipe. Thank you for the cooperation. We were a little bit disturbed by mice, if you remember. Mice are absolutely important, but there are even more important things than mice, and in particular these days we have to focus on priorities. And thanks to Mette, also, the project was delivered according to plan and it's a very important project right now.

Talking about Ukraine. We also support seizing assets from the Russian Federation and Russian oligarchs. And we discussed this briefly as well, because Russia must be held responsible for material losses and all the damage caused by them.

Poland also proposes to the European Commission, and we look for partners and allies in changing the rules of the budget deficit calculations according to Maastricht Treaty criteria. We are going to spend four percentage points of our GDP on military expenditures. On defence expenditures. And we would like those expenditures to be excluded from the calculations and algorithms of the Maastricht Treaty criteria, given the security challenges which are around us. So that's very important.

We also share common views on migration, and we spoke about this with Mette at length today. By the way, Denmark and Poland and Cyprus, we are part of a trio in two years’ time, in terms of creating the European Union agenda. The three countries, Poland and Denmark and Cyprus, will be holding Presidency of the European Union in two years´ time. So, I’m very grateful to Mette, to Prime Minister Frederiksen and the Danes for your declarations and your deeds in the area of supporting Ukraine, stabilising the situation around us and even the recent decision of sending Caesar howitzers to Ukraine is very, very important.

We are also in a very special moment in history. So, we discussed lots of other topics like renewables and energy transformation, migration, as I said, and I'm very happy that Copenhagen and Warsaw are on the same page with so many issues altogether. And the goal of this war in Ukraine is for us, and I know for NATO, is to support Ukraine. For this country to win, to win this war, and the West should do everything in its power to achieve this goal and thanks to our cooperation, we are supporting Ukraine as much as we can these days. We are doing our part. Thank you.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:

Thank you so much and now I will give the floor to you!

Marta Kielczyk from Polish television:

Baltic Pipe is a big success for the Polish, Danish and Swedish Government. How would you rate this project in the light of the present situation in Europe? And do you have any plans for a future cooperations in the energy sector?

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:

(To Morawiecki: Should I start, or you?) I think this is extremely important and we need to be independent when it comes to energy, and this cooperation between us is a very good example of how to do it in a very concrete matter. So, what are the next steps, because we opened it, is it half a year ago, or something like that in Poland …

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki: …. Yes.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:

So, what are the next step? I think the next step for us when it comes to energy security is renewables. To work even closer together when it comes to offshore wind, renewables, and to share practises and to work very close together also with the other Baltic States and countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. So, I would like to underline that the next cooperation between us could be offshore wind and renewables, when it comes to energy security.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki:

Which is, by the way, completely compatible with the Baltic Pipe as a source of stable energy supply. And let me once more emphasise the role of Mette and Denmark in this very difficult project to deliver on time and on budget. Such cooperation is really great. Thank you.

Steffen Gram, DR:

Mr. Prime Minister, you used the words “woke up from the slumber”, about European nations about a year ago. A couple of days ago, President Biden in Warsaw talked about that you, more than anybody (it's Poland, but it's also the Bucharest 9) knew what this was all about, what is at stake. We are … everybody's telling us, moving into a pivotal moment in the war, but also on the diplomatic front, with the Chinese approaching for whatever plans they have … the Russians. Now, what would you like to see the West European countries do more than they are doing? Could you please be specific of your expectations on what has to come? And Mrs. Prime Minister, would you please comment on the Prime Minister's points?

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki:

Well, to cut the long story short, I would like them to be exactly as Denmark and Poland. A longer version of the same is to be more generous in terms of weapon delivery, and quicker. Also, Ukraine needs financial support, and this is where the European Commission is doing their part and I'm going to thank the European Commission and Ursula (von der Leyen) for this because it is needed for the Ukrainian government, which is not gathering taxes these days. To pay salaries of soldiers, nurses, teachers, doctors and so on. So that's another angle. And also, this approach to the war should be more united in terms of that we should really think about how to support Ukraine in the quick victory. Which is, pushing out all the Russian troops from Ukraine.

But, by the way, it's up to the Ukrainian nation, the Ukrainian government to decide the definition of the victory. It's not up to me. It's not up to us. So, let's be frank, if not the United States and Poland and the United Kingdom, probably Ukraine would not have survived the first couple of weeks or first couple of months. So, it is just strengthening the NATO-alliance, but some NATO-sceptical countries should no longer be sceptical. Let's put it like this. And this would be my wish and my hope that this can happen in due course, in the foreseeable future.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:

I can make it very short because I agree: do like Poland and Denmark, and do what a lot of our allies are already doing now, but we need to be aware that we don’t have a lot of time. So, we need to speed up our financial support. Our, of course, first of all, military help. We need more donations, and we need to work very closely together to make sure that they have the capacities that they need. I think, actually, that is the spirit. Also, when it comes to the to the rest of our alliance, that we know that this is also a fight against the clock, because of the situation on the ground in Ukraine, this spring will be very important, so, more donations, as fast and as quick as possible.

Journalist … Polish television:

A question to both prime ministers. In your opinion, should the NATO countries provide Ukraine with security guarantees during the summit in Vilnius this summer? This was something that was already discussed by polish President Andrzej Duda and by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:

I think what is important at the moment is to ensure and to make sure that Ukraine will win this war, and that is what we need to use all our energy on. We totally agree, Poland and Denmark, that Ukraine has to win this war. There is not an alternative to that conclusion, and they cannot win this war on their own. We need to help them with as many measures as possible and needed. And I think that is what is important now. And then there will be a time after the war and we will have an open mind, from the Danish perspective, in all different kind of discussions. But right now this is about winning the war. That is the most important thing.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki:

Well, at the beginning of the war, the delivering heavy armoured vehicles was beyond the imagination of most of the countries. Delivering tanks was not on the agenda. Delivering anti-missile system, anti-rocket system, anti-aircraft system was not even discussed.

So, I can imagine that such a guarantee is accepted, is delivered to Ukraine. Things which were beyond our imagination several months ago are now being realised. So my answer is yes, I would wish for such guarantees. It would require the agreement of all the NATO countries, which is not always so easy. But this is not beyond my imagination, because I have seen that at the beginning of the war many countries were very fearful of delivering different kinds of weapons, which are now being delivered to Ukraine. So, it is such a critical moment that, notwithstanding what is going to happen between now and the Vilnius summit, such dialogues and thoughts should be discussed.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen: And finally!                                                                                                                          

Camila Stampe, Danish Television, TV2:

Mr. Prime Minister – Denmark is a really rich country. We have a lot of resources, and we could easily buy more weapons for Ukraine. Do you think we should do that?

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki:

I saw some stats, per number of inhabitants, and I think Denmark is doing a lot. I'm not familiar with the latest details, but I know that recently the Danish Government promised to deliver new Caesar Howitzers, French Caesar Howitzers. Very good ones. And that's very good. And I never heard that the Danish Government is not doing its part. So that's my opinion.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:

Okay, thank you, all of you.”