President, Danish Crown Prince discuss bilateral ties, Baltic Pipe

2019-11-25 18:00 update: 2019-11-26, 19:07
Polish president Andrzej Duda (2L) and Danish Crown Prince Frederik(2R). Photo PAP/Leszek Szymański
Polish president Andrzej Duda (2L) and Danish Crown Prince Frederik(2R). Photo PAP/Leszek Szymański
Bilateral ties and the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline project stood in the forefront of Monday talks in Warsaw between Polish President Andrzej Duda and visiting Danish Crown Prince Frederik.

Prince Frederik and his wife, Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth, arrived in Poland on Monday for a brief visit to mark the centenary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

At a ceremonial breakfast given for the Danish royal couple, Duda said Polish-Danish relations have never been as close as today, and in this context mentioned joint energy projects, especially the planned Baltic Pipe gas pipeline from Denmark to Poland. Duda emphasised that the gasline was of strategic importance for Poland's and the region's energy security. He also spoke about both countries' cooperation on renewable energy, notably offshore wind farm projects, and said this direction could prove a pillar of a "green transformation" in Central and Eastern Europe.

The president also mentioned the two countries' cooperation on the NATO platform, and pointed out that 2019 marked the 20th foundation anniversary of the Polish-stationed Multinational Corps North-East founded by Poland, Denmark and Germany. Duda stressed that today the corps was the major NATO land force command on the Alliance's eastern flank.

Crown Prince Frederik praised the expanding economic cooperation between Denmark and Poland, and remarked that Poland was Denmark's ninth-biggest export market. The prince said the Baltic Pipe project promised to bring both countries even closer together, but observed that Denmark's and Poland's energy cooperation reached beyond gas supply and also embraced wind energy projects on the Baltic Sea.

Frederik observed that during the Cold War Denmark and Poland stood on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain and could have become opponents in a possible armed conflict. He also highlighted that in the 1970s many Polish refugees found asylum in Denmark, and that the Danes closely followed the Poles' anti-communist struggle in the following decade. The crown prince also praised Denmark's Polish community, describing it as proud and industrious.

Frederik stressed that today both countries were NATO and EU allies, and recalled that the decision to grant Poland EU membership was taken in 2002 in the Danish capital, Copenhagen.

In the afternoon, the Polish presidential couple and the Danish royal couple met in the Warsaw-based Foreign Operation Veterans' Centre, where the Danish crown prince paid tribute to Polish and Danish soldiers serving on foreign military missions. In his address at the centre, Duda highlighted that Polish and Danish troops served side by side in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Frederik also referred to this year's 100th anniversary of Polish-Danish diplomatic relations, and stressed that both countries supported values like freedom, independence, civil rights and human rights.

Present at the meeting was Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, who thanked Danish troops for their service in the Multinational Corps North-East. (PAP)