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Ex-president advises Poland to avoid disputes with Germany over WWII reparations issue

"Germany is our biggest partner. They support us in many issues. Do we need this confrontation now?" Lech Walesa said
Poland’s ex-president Lech Walesa  EPA/YONHAP
Poland’s ex-president Lech Walesa

WARSAW, August 16. /TASS/. The incumbent Polish leadership has chosen the wrong time to raise the issue of World War II reparations from Germany, Poland’s ex-president Lech Walesa told TASS on Tuesday.

"Of course, our country suffered terrible damage. Some questions have been solved, but I’m unaware of all the details," the Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

"Germany is our biggest partner. They support us in many issues. Do we need this confrontation now? Instead of solving all issues calmly and wisely, instead of reaching a consensus, they [the incumbent government] are looking for enemies in order to keep their party in power," said Walesa, who served as the president of Poland in 1990-1995.

Speaking about the outcome of the upcoming German elections, Walesa said that he sees the victory of incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel as a more favorable outcome for Poland.

"We should not bet on who we are not sure of. That’s why the Polish people place their stake on Merkel. We don’t need any new difficulties," he said.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice party, said in July that Poland has never rejected WWII reparations from Germany for the massive losses sustained by his country during World War II. Polish Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz said in a televised interview that Poland has all grounds to make a legal claim for reparations from Germany.

A deputy spokeswoman for the German Government, Ulrike Demmer said in response that both the legal and political aspects of the issue have been settled long ago, adding that "in August 1953, Poland rejected further reparations by Germany and confirmed this on numerous occasions."

A research, carried out by the Warsaw mayor’s order in 2004, established that the damage sustained only by the Polish capital in the World War II could be estimated at $45.3 billion.