Germany and Poland at loggerheads over Ukraine – media
This week’s launch of an EU project to train Ukrainian troops has reportedly divided parts of the bloc. Germany and Poland are at loggerheads over who would host the headquarters of the operation, Der Tagesspiegel daily reports.
The EU Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM), which was officially launched on Monday, is to train some 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers over two years at a cost of €107 million ($110 million). The bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell claimed that it was agreed in record time and would become fully operational within a couple of weeks.
But according to the newspaper’s sources, there was disagreement between Warsaw and Berlin over where the mission’s HQ would be based, which has delayed the launch by several weeks. Germany reportedly objected to Poland’s role in hosting it over concerns about Russian “disruptive maneuvers” from the exclave of Kaliningrad, the report said.
The final arrangement is a compromise solution, under which the town Strausberg 30km east of Berlin will host a smaller part of the EU operation focused on specialized military training, Tagesspiegel said. Meanwhile, Poland will have “the actual headquarters” at a location that was not disclosed for security reasons, it added.
Throughout the crisis in Ukraine, Warsaw has been a vocal critic of Berlin, accusing it of being reluctant to break ties with Russia and to give Kiev the weapons and assistance it wants.
The two EU nations have locked horns on other issues as well. The Polish government wants Germany to pay €1.32 trillion ($1.37tn) for damage done to the country during World War II, which Berlin has refused to do.