Poland regrets Biden not meeting east European leaders during trip

FILE PHOTO: Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (R) talks to the European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, during a NATO foreign ministers' meeting at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2021. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau has criticised U.S. President Joe Biden's decision not to meet eastern European leaders on his first trip abroad.

In an interview published by Rzeczpospolita newspaper on Friday, Rau also regretted Washington had waived sanctions on the company behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is being built to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany.

Biden's eight-day trip to Europe includes a summit of the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies in England, talks in Brussels with leaders of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance, and a summit in Geneva with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Unfortunately, the American delegation coming to Europe, headed by President Joe Biden, is so busy with his meeting with President Putin that it has not found time to organise meetings with allies on the eastern flank," Rau said.

Criticising Washington for waiving sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive, he said: "The American allies did not find time for consulting with the region of the world that is most affected by the impact of this decision."

The pipeline is being constructed despite concerns that Russia could use it as leverage to weaken EU member states by increasing their dependency on Moscow for gas.

"Who will then pay the bill for German and American mistakes? No crisis will be solved by not answering the phone," Rau said.

Poland's nationalist government set great store by its relationship with former U.S. President Donald Trump, securing a pledge of a permanent U.S. military deployment in Poland at a time when its handling of democratic values has tested the tolerance of Warsaw's EU allies.

During his campaign for last year's U.S. presidential election, Biden accused Trump of backing authoritarian leaders around the world including in Poland.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In World

Canadian man accused of murdering Muslim family members to face terror charges
German conservatives reject tax hikes in draft election manifesto
Erdogan says after Biden talks no Turkey-U.S. problems unsolvable
Erdogan says U.S.-Turkey problems can be solved after Biden meet
Families seek Americans' release ahead of Biden-Putin summit
Biden backs effort in Congress to repeal 'forever war' authority in Iraq
Brazil to deploy special force to protect the Yanomami from wildcat gold miners
Catalan leader plays down potential pardons for separatists, seeks referendum
Uganda court grants bail to 18 supporters of opposition leader Wine
Egypt upholds death sentence for 12 senior Muslim Brotherhood figures

Stories You'll Enjoy