Warsaw May Reach EU Compromise with UK, If It Leads to NATO Force in Poland

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, Nov. 16, 2015Poland could be open to compromise over British demands to limit the rights of European Union migrants if London helps it bolster the NATO presence in central Europe, Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told Reuters.

“We still consider ourselves a second-class NATO member-state, because in central Europe … there aren’t, aside from a token presence, any significant allied forces or defence installations, which gives the Russians an excuse to play this region,” he said. Asked whether Britain could offer Poland something to soften its opposition to [UK Prime Minister David] Cameron‘s proposal, Waszczykowski said: “Of course. Britain could offer something to Poland in terms of international security….

“Britain could support our expectations related to an allied military presence on Polish territory,” Waszczykowski said.

Waszczykowski said Poland wanted to offset the impact of any benefit cuts for its citizens living in Britain by planning to offer a monthly cash payment to families with children, in the hope Polish workers will stay in Poland instead of emigrating.

He said Warsaw opposed any cuts in benefits in Britain that singled out potential recipients based on their origin.

“We’re aware that the British welfare system is very elaborate and that it may not be able to bear it. We are therefore addressing this by increasing our benefits, and we also want to raise salaries in Poland,” he said….

“It would be very difficult for us to accept any discrimination,” Waszczykowski said, referring to the migrant talks with London. “Unless Britain helped us really effectively with regard to the Polish defence ambitions at the summit in Warsaw.”

Image: Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, Nov. 16, 2015 (photo: Polish Parliament)