05:59 GMT14 June 2021
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    When asked about the current relations between the EU and Russia and whether mutual sanctions and embargos would continue, Cezary Kalita said that the problem stemmed from the conflict in Ukraine.

    “Personally, I don’t think that Crimea belongs to Ukraine, it’s a done deal now, but we have a very unpleasant situation in Donbass and Luhansk both the EU and Russia suffer from. Russia is a major player in the world that we can’t afford sidelining as we move on.”

    He added that pragmatism is important to the EU.

    “Western leaders are more pragmatic than others, including those in Poland. I hope that before this year is out the situation with the sanctions will clear up. We need to cooperate, not hold a grudge against each other. The world is changing too fast and we shouldn’t waste our time on squabbles,” he emphasized.

    Admitting that security and the migrant crisis were serious challenges now facing the European Union, Cezary Kalita still said that he thought the biggest problem is the EU’s possible breakup, although he believes that the problem has been exaggerated, especially by Polish media.

    “There is also the problem with migrants, but with Turkish help it has partially been resolved. As for terrorism, it has always been a problem. National-liberation movements, the Basque and the Irish have at various times all resorted to terrorism,” he said.

    Kalita singled out continued EU integration and its pace as a paramount issue.

    “They also want to have a European army. I don’t think this is a good idea. A joint army requires more centralized control and this is something many EU members don’t like.”

    “Acting separately the EU countries are too weak to compete with major global players, that’s why we need to move forward together,” he emphasized, adding that Poland needs to jump on the bandwagon before it’s too late.

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that he was sure that no matter what the EU will be around for another 60 years and that after Brexit no other country would leave the bloc.

    “Well, maybe this union is really a marriage of convenience. As for Brexit, the British have never been too eager to stay in. They have always seen themselves as a separate kingdom and I believe that many in the EU will breathe a sigh of relief when they have gone,” Cezary Kalita said.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to begin the formal talks on the UK’s  withdrawal from the European Union by the end of March after London invokes the Article 50 exit clause of the EU Treaty, following last June's referendum decision to leave the 28-nation bloc.

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    Tags:
    European Union, Brexit, migrant crisis, problems, integration, Institute of Social Sciences and Security, Cezary Kalita, Poland
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