Polish minister rebuffed over Nazi comparison
3 May 2006, BERLIN - German political leaders joined the European Commission Tuesday in admonishing Polish Defence Minister Radek Sikorski for comparing a German-Russian pipeline deal to a pact made between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
3 May 2006
BERLIN - German political leaders joined the European Commission Tuesday in admonishing Polish Defence Minister Radek Sikorski for comparing a German-Russian pipeline deal to a pact made between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Warsaw has sharply criticised the German-Russian Baltic Sea pipeline project because it bypasses Poland.
However, in remarks Sunday Sikorski compared the pipeline deal to the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 when Hitler's Germany and Stalinist Russia carved up Poland.
"Poland has a particular sensitivity to corridors and deals above our head. That was the Locarno tradition, that was the Molotov- Ribbentrop tradition. That was the 20th century. We don't want any repetition of that," Sikorski said.
But Ruprecht Polenz, a senior member of Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats hit back telling Germany's daily Bild: "Such absurd comparisons are damaging to German-Polish relations."
In the meantime, Hans-Ulrich Klose, a leading member of the Social Democrats, which have forged a coalition with the CDU to form Germany's national government also lashed out at the remarks made by Sikorski.
Klose said Sikorski should reconsider his remarks and then withdraw them as quickly as possible.
Echoing the comments by German politicians, the European Commission's chief spokesman Johannes Laitenberger described Sikorski's comments as neither "helpful nor proportionate" adding that Brussels was seeking to address concerns about the pipeline.
"I think we are all aware that there are concerns in Poland with this project, and the commission's proposals for a more coordinated approach on energy within the EU is also a response to these concerns," said Laitenberger.
Subject: German news