04:04 GMT26 February 2021
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    Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski has accused Germany of interfering in Poland's internal affairs after Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen made comments in support of Poles' "resistance" to government policy.

    Poland has asked for an "explanation" from Germany after Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that Poles protesting against the government should receive support.

    Referring to protests which took place in Poland after the national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power, Leyen said that "this healthy democratic resistance by the younger generation in Poland should be supported."

    "Our task is also to maintain a discourse, to struggle against Poland and Hungary," she continued, during a political discussion program on Germany's ZDF channel on Thursday.

    The comments were picked up in Poland, where Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski called them an admission that Germany interferes in the country's internal afffairs.

    "Finally, we caught German politicians trying to interfere in the internal affairs of Poland," Waszczykowski said, Poland's Onet Wiadomosci reported.

    "For the last two years, we have heard German politicians saying that they are neutral, and that what is said in the media there is from independent publications that the German authorities have no influence over," he complained.

    Polish news website Wpolityce.pl accused von der Leyen of "breaking diplomatic norms previously adhered to by Germany," and sending Polish-German relations into a "dangerous spiral."

    Poland's Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz has lodged an official request for an explanation from Germany about the comments.

    ​"Minister Macierewicz has recommended Director of the Department of Foreign Military Affairs call the German Defense Attache about the statement by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen," Poland's Defense Ministry tweeted.


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    diplomacy, Witold Waszczykowski, Antoni Macierewicz, Ursula von der Leyen, Germany, Poland
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