France, Germany not Doing Enough to Support Ukraine, Says Poland’s PM

April 14, 2023 4:45 PM - Updated: April 16, 2023 10:55 PM
U.S. Soldiers, assigned to the Lightning Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, maneuver in a Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle-Dragoon during a live-fire gunnery training event in support of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group-Poland in Bemowo Piskie, Poland on May 13, 2020. US Army Photo

Poland’s prime minister raised concerns about France and Germany’s lack of a wholehearted commitment to helping Ukraine win the war against Russia and how it affects Warsaw’s ability to back Ukraine Thursday.

“All [the allies in NATO] want Ukraine to win but not necessarily to the same extent,” said Mateusz Morawiecki, speaking at the Atlantic Council. Germany and France “want a quick cease-fire … almost at any price.” He attributed that desire for a cease-fire to “more and more [war] fatigue” in those nations and to some extent in the United States.

Paris and Berlin have not demonstrated “serious international moves” of support by opening their military depots and arsenals to supply the Ukrainians, Morawiecki said.

Germany’s and other Western Europe nations’ continued dependence on energy from Russia, and French President Emanuel Macron’s recent visit to China where he called upon Europe to establish “strategic autonomy” in its economic and military dealings with Beijing blunts opposition to the conflict, he said.

To western European nations trading “high margin” products with Beijing remains a top priority, a concern Morawiecki raised.

He quoted Vladimir Lenin, saying, “capitalists will sell us the rope that we will hang them with. …The rope today is technology.”

In the 1930s, “appeasement was in fashion, like today.”

Unlike the West where public opinion is fluctuating on all-out support for Ukraine, Russians continue to back President Vladimir Putin’s February 2022 invasion, Morawiecki said. “Putin is counting on the change of public opinion in the West” to takeover Ukraine.

Looking ahead, Morawiecki said, “we need to understand how Kyiv thinks” on an anticipated spring offensive and help it meet those goals. He added Poland is preparing another order of MiG-29s, tanks and artillery for delivery to Ukraine.

Warsaw “will be next” if the Kremlin prevails in the war, he sasid. NATO is key to ensuring that doesn’t happen, Morawiecki said. Like Ukraine, “we have something else … the determination to defend our freedom.”

“If we lose Ukraine, we lose peace for decades,” Morawiecli said. He warned Kyiv’s defeat also would open the door for China to attack Taiwan.

Morawiecki called the relationship between Moscow and Beijing “the key to the future of the world” because both are aggressively warring or threatening their neighbors if they don’t meet their demands on territory and trade.

“Central and Eastern Europe can be a driving force” in revitalizing NATO and rebuilding order and stability as China and Russia grow closer together. “We want to be a binder” in NATO and left open the door for Kyiv’s membership in the alliance and the European Union, he said.

He called upon the United States to unveil a new Marshall Plan for Ukraine and for Europe to reaffirm its commitment and foster closer relations economically and militarily as Washington did after World War II in Europe.

Poland is spending 4 percent of its gross domestic product on security, modernizing its forces with M1A1 tanks, ordering F-35 Lightning II Strike Fighters and hosting U.S. F-22s, positioning air defense and long-range rocket artillery systems, Morawiecki said. It has also established a garrison post for rotating American forces.

Warsaw is also crossing over to nuclear energy to further distance itself from dependence on Moscow for natural gas and petroleum To modernize its digital infrastructure, Poland is working with Microsoft and Google, Morawiecki said.


John Grady

John Grady

John Grady, a former managing editor of Navy Times, retired as director of communications for the Association of the United States Army. His reporting on national defense and national security has appeared on Breaking Defense,,,, Government Executive and USNI News.

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox