Polish, Italian leaders discuss aiding Ukraine, strong EU

Feb 19, 2023, 8:53 PM | Updated: Feb 20, 2023, 11:53 am

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, right, greets Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, ah...

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, right, greets Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, ahead of talks on regional security, war in neighbouring Ukraine and bilateral ties, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The prime ministers of Poland and Italy on Monday discussed military support for Ukraine and voiced agreement that the European Union should be made stronger politically while cutting down on bureaucracy.

Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki and Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni — both right-wing politicians — said they were on the same page on Ukraine and on wanting to impress on EU leaders that the bloc’s 27 member nations make it strong through their diversity.

“Our views are very close on what the EU should be like as a player in the international arena,” Meloni said following talks in Warsaw with Morawiecki.

“We want Europe to be a political but not a bureaucratic giant and we are working toward such a Europe,” Meloni said, adding that the “EU should take into account that there are various identities building it.”

Poland is in a drawn-out standoff with top EU bodies over its rule of law record that Brussels says goes against democracy rules. The dispute has led to the EU freezing Poland’s pandemic recovery funds.

Meloni also said that Poland’s neighbor Ukraine “knows it can count on us, and Poland knows it can count on us.”

Later, Meloni met with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda.

Italian media reported that Meloni was to travel on to Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv for meetings Tuesday.

On Monday, U.S. President Joe Biden paid a surprise visit to Kyiv.

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Polish, Italian leaders discuss aiding Ukraine, strong EU