Germany-Poland: presidents mend fences

At a meeting in Berlin, the presidents of Poland and Germany, Andrzej Duda and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, emphasised the common ground between their countries. Duda described the planned stationing of German Patriot missile defence systems in his country as an important gesture by an ally. Does this mean that the bilateral tensions have been overcome?

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Die Welt (DE) /

Thaw between Berlin and Warsaw

Besides the warm words, there are also facts that speak for an easing of tensions, Philipp Fritz, Warsaw correspondent for the daily Die Welt, observes:

“Duda has adopted a remarkably friendly tone towards Frank-Walter Steinmeier. ... The news that German Patriot anti-aircraft systems will be moved to Poland after all should not be played down. ... If German soldiers were to be stationed on Polish territory, this would be a great sign of trust against the background of the painful German-Polish history. ... Warsaw has also just sent Dariusz Pawlos, an experienced diplomat with a reputation for being prudent, as its new ambassador to Berlin.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Economy and Ukraine policy play a major role

The visit goes far beyond pure symbolic politics of the heads of state, writes Rzeczpospolita:

“It is not only the two presidents for whom good Polish-German relations are important. They are also crucial for the economy: during Duda's meeting with Steinmeier, the Polish Prime Minister [Mateusz Morawiecki] announced a new investment of 1.3 billion euros by Mercedes for the construction of E-vans in Jawor. Germany is also aware of Poland's strategic role, which has become even more important since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine: 'Polish-German relations are of central importance for the future of Europe,' Steinmeier said.”