Polish President lays flowers at tragic Colectiv club site, pays tribute to victims of the fire

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda placed a bunch of red roses and lit a candle Monday night at the Colectiv club in the Romanian capital, where a fire Friday night killed 31 people and left hundreds injured.

The Polish leader is paying a visit to Romania, being scheduled to meet President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Tuesday.

Duda and Iohannis will chair a high-level meeting of Central and East European states to be hosted by the presidential Cotroceni Palace on Wednesday.

Attending the gathering will be NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, Slovak President Andrej Kiska, Hungarian President Ader Janos and Czech Chamber of Deputies’ Speaker Jan Hamacek.

Duda: Poland is Romania’s 6th-largest trade partner, we have strong historic ties

President of Poland Andrzej Duda has left Warsaw on Monday afternoon heading to the Romanian capital Bucharest where he is due to meet with his Romanian counterpart President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday, Radio Poland’s website informs.

According to the Polish head of state’s office, Duda is due to discuss subjects including Romania’s role in the region, the migration and security crisis in Central and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, as well as preparations for next year’s NATO summit in Warsaw. On November 4, a larger meeting of Central and Eastern European heads of state will be held, taking in the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. The aforementioned countries, together with Poland, make up NATO’s so-called eastern flank, and a joint declaration is due on Wednesday, Radio Poland informs.

In an interview for ‘Romania Libera’ daily, Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, has outlined many issues that are specific to Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in line with the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The President of Poland stated that “we are members of NATO and of the European Union, Polish and Romanian soldiers fought side by side in Iraq and Afghanistan, our countries are likewise involved in the missile defence project. Romania is the second-largest country in the region population-wise, Poland is Romania’s 6th-largest trade partner, we have strong historic ties.”

Referring to a wider format of the Visegrad Group, Andrzej Duda pointed out that “there is no need to change formats or names. I am very glad the Visegrad Group (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – editor’s note) lives and is active after a period in which relations lacked enthusiasm. We have once again started to discuss, very seriously, about the most important issues for the European Union. I would be very happy for us to intensify contacts with Romania and other regional partners too.”

The President of Poland’s point of view on the European Energy Union was very interesting. On this issue, he emphasized: “First of all, the fact that energy security is in our joint interest has to be emphasized. It is absolutely unacceptable for some political decisions taken by EU member states to be obviously oriented against the economic interests of other EU members. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is just a resounding example. The promotion of this project is a parody of the notion of European solidarity. In more general terms, we are at the same time preoccupied with the European Commission’s insistence on the so-called “decarbonisation” of economies in the EU. We understand the need to lower carbon dioxide emissions and to protect the environment, however one should not act hastily. Haste has already generated fairly ugly effects against the backdrop of the refugee crisis. We wouldn’t want the EU to repeat the same mistakes. “Decarbonisation” would have a significant negative impact on Poland’s industrial sector and GDP growth. The common energy policy cannot have the meaning of ‘forced energy solidarity.’”

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