Baerbock rejects Poland's demand for reparations
On a visit to Warsaw on Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock rejected the Polish government's demands for reparations. During a meeting with Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau she said that from the German government's point of view the issue was closed. Poland is demanding 1.3 trillion euros from Germany for the damages inflicted on the country during World War II.
This dispute is the last thing Europe needs as Russia's war against Ukraine drags on, says the Frankfurter Rundschau:
“The government in Warsaw also knows this. That is why the demands for reparations are above all a domestic political manoeuvre. Elections will be held in Poland in a year's time. The PiS fears that voters will abandon it if they have to put up with being cold over the winter. But what is needed in these times is more German-Polish cooperation - not a dispute that may never be resolved.”
Here comes the US's best friend
In Izvestia, historian and political scientist Yevgenia Pimenova sees the demand for reparations as a sign of Poland's growing self-confidence:
“Warsaw increasingly sees itself as the US's most important partner in continental Europe, which can and should dictate its political conditions due to this status. All this is often at odds with Germany's aspirations. The issue of reparations is now becoming an additional thread of tension that could lead to a palpable confrontation within the EU - between a group of 'old Europe' countries led by Germany on the one hand and a number of 'new EU members' led by Poland on the other.”