Boris Johnson has said the UK will stand “shoulder to shoulder” with Poland against those who would “try to provoke a migrant crisis” on its borders.
Meeting Mr Johnson in Downing Street on Friday, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned the situation affecting his country is getting “crazy”.
Poland has been facing a crisis on its border with Belarus for months, with thousands of migrants, mainly from the Middle East, attempting to cross into the European Union.
Brussels has accused Belarus’s authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, of deliberately encouraging the migrants to breach its borders in retaliation for sanctions the EU has imposed in response to his repressive rule.
The Prime Minister said during his meeting with Mr Morawiecki: “I think this is an important occasion – and we are very, very grateful to you for visiting us, for coming to Number 10, to London, because this is a moment where we can reaffirm our commitment to the relationship but also to standing shoulder to shoulder with Poland against those who would try to provoke a migrant crisis, for instance, on Polish borders.”
Mr Morawiecki said that “things are now getting very much crazy around us”.
He said the UK and Poland have “almost the same priorities” and are “on the same hymn sheet”.
He also warned of some “not so good guys” around the “democratic world and transatlantic community”.
“We have to stay together in front of all those challenges,” he said.
Mr Morawiecki added that he felt “great sorrow” over the news that 27 people died attempting to cross the English Channel.
Mr Johnson replied: “That, again, underlines that this is a problem that we have to fix together.”
The PM also described Poland as the UK’s “closest European Nato ally” on matters of security and defence.
He said: “This is a chance for us to reaffirm our commitment to you as I think probably our closest European Nato ally in our thinking and our commitment to our long-term security and defence relationship… not to say nothing of our economic relationship.”
Downing Street said the men went on to discuss the situation in Ukraine, as well as the impact of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“They noted concerning threats against Ukraine, and emphasised our unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it said.
“Both leaders welcomed the close economic, social and cultural ties between the British and Polish people, and looked forward to boosting our trading relationship.
“The Prime Minister set out the United Kingdom’s ongoing concerns about the detrimental impact of the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the fact that it was creating an impediment to the east-west trade on which Northern Ireland’s economy depends.”