CDU boss wants to “smooth waves”
Merz travels to Warsaw because of a ring exchange dispute
07/26/2022, 4:13 p.m
Friedrich Merz is once again on a foreign policy mission: After his visit to Ukraine, the CDU leader is drawn to Poland this time. Also on the agenda is a meeting with Prime Minister Morawiecki, whose government is frustrated by the faltering exchange of armored rings with Berlin.
The CDU chairman and Union faction leader Friedrich Merz travels to Poland on Wednesday, where he will meet Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, among others. Talks are then planned in Lithuania, according to the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. In view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the “obvious failure of the exchange of rings, the Union faction considers it urgently necessary to maintain close contacts with the political leadership in Warsaw and Vilnius,” it said in justification of the three-day trip.
As the “Spiegel” reports according to its own information, Merz wants to “smooth the waves” in Poland. The reason: Warsaw had recently reacted with clear criticism of Berlin to the sluggish ring exchange for tank deliveries to Ukraine.
According to information from the parliamentary group, Merz will be accompanied by four members of the Bundestag, including the chairman of the German-Polish parliamentary group, ex-CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak. A talk is also planned in Warsaw with Donald Tusk, the long-standing President of the EU Council and current Chairman of the Citizens’ Platform PO.
Merz then travels to Lithuania, where a meeting with Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte is planned for Thursday. He also wants to visit the base of the multinational EFP Battlegroup (Enhanced Forward Presence) on NATO’s eastern flank in Rukla, which is run by the Bundeswehr.
Merz wanted to gain a concrete insight into the work of the German soldiers in Lithuania, it was said about the trip. The return flight is scheduled for Friday. Merz had already traveled to Ukraine in early May and was received in Kyiv by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.