Poland hopes for Nato help after Europe unity gains over Brexit

Poland’s government says Müller confirmed deployment of Nato’s new Vardar multinational battalion

The Polish prime minister, Beata Szydło, said she had discussed the issue of EU withdrawal with her German counterpart, Angela Merkel, and that the political atmosphere on the EU’s eastern flank has improved.

Merkel told her Polish counterpart, Beata Szydło, that she had discussed the issue of EU withdrawal with her German counterpart, Angela Merkel, on Monday, the German government confirmed.

The two said they had agreed on the need to focus on cooperating in the fields of migration, energy, digitalisation and labour market reform, as well as discussed the Ukrainian economy.

Both sides confirmed that the atmosphere had improved on the eastern flank of the EU since the European parliament backed an updated political declaration that described the EU as “a club of nations as well as of countries”, and said that cohesion in the bloc should create “a broader unity that enables member states to assume responsibility for their domestic affairs”.

Europe appears poised to continue its cooperation on migration, and the US has focused much of its diplomacy in recent weeks on making sure that new and existing EU schemes are fully executed and take full effect.

The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who was visiting Latvia on Monday, said he had “no doubt” that Nato would support Poland and Lithuania. But the EU, particularly those countries in eastern Europe feeling increasingly strangled by Russian influence, has raised the question of how far it will aid further US attempts to combat the Kremlin’s influence in the area.

Among the issues under discussion is Poland’s request for two batteries of Nato’s newest generation of high-end, anti-missile defence weapons, known as Iron Fist, to be deployed in the country.

At the time of the crisis with Russia in September 2015, Poland asked for three Iron Fist batteries to be deployed at the height of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. The French president, François Hollande, has indicated that he is not inclined to block the decision.

The Polish government is also keen to see EU funding increase for construction of the Polish section of the transatlantic gas pipeline, called Nabucco.

Last month, Poland’s energy minister, Jan Szyszko, visited Washington to discuss energy matters, as well as investment in a new power plant on the Black Sea island of Przemysl.

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