Hungary approves Finland’s bid to join NATO | Poland renews push to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from Olympics | Poland beat Albania 1-0 in the second European Championships qualifier of group E | Brand new, modernised SKM trains will arrive later this year

(Fot. Pixabay)

Hungary’s parliament have approved a bill to allow Finland to join NATO once its application has been ratified by all 30 members of the alliance, ending months of hesitation on part of the ruling Fidesz party.

182 out of 199 MPs voted in favour of the proposal, while six voted against, with no one abstaining. The approval came after Turkey pledged to back the Finnish accession last week.

As President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, only Hungary and Turkey of the 30 members of NATO had refused to authorize an extension of the Alliance near Russia’s Northern borders. The U.S. and its European NATO partners had pressed Hungary to expedite Finland’s and Sweden’s applications, which the majority of members had ratified by July 2022.

By adding Finland, the alliance will be able to begin guarding the Baltic Sea region more thoroughly in order to protect NATO members Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, who are thought to be possible targets of a future Russian assault. Meanwhile, the bill on Sweden’s NATO accession remains stranded in the Hungarian parliament.

Poland on Monday renewed its push to ban Russia and Belarus from international sports competitions, calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to scrap plans to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in next year’s Olympic Games in Paris under a neutral flag.

„As we are approaching the next meeting of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee on March 28-30 … we wish to reiterate Ukraine’s position on the IOC recent calls to explore the pathways for participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in competitions as 'neutral athletes,'” the Polish foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Poland’s Sports Minister Kamil Bortniczuk said earlier this year that Russia and its ally Belarus should not be allowed to take part in next year’s Olympics, and he stands by this. He added that if Russian and Belarusian athletes are allowed to compete in the Paris Games, Poland could build an international coalition to boycott the event.

Today marks day398 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Poland played Albania in the second group E match at the Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw last night. Having lost to the Czech Republic just days before, recently appointed national team manager Fernando Santos took his side to their first win under his stewardship.

It was a lacklustre performance from both teams, but Karol Świderski proved the difference in the 41st minute with a goal from close range. Poland seemed mostly comfortable seeing out the match as winners, although Albania did provide a few scares towards the end of the 90 minutes.

The result leaves Poland in second place in group E on three points, with six more matches to play.

Good news for all those who use the local SKM rail link services on a daily basis! Maciej Lignowski, President of the Management Board of the PKP SKM railway service operator, expects the forthcoming modernized rolling stock to allow for faster trains and shortened travel times.

He said this week „I am glad that together with the local government we will be able to utilise this EU funding. Almost half of our fleet consists of several decades old trains which, although well maintained, no longer meet modern requirements.”

Zbigniew Konieczek, President of the Management Board of Newag S.A., has confirmed that the first eight trains will be delivered by December this year, and the next raft of rolling stock by the end of 2026.

The weather

Today will be cold, with ongoing rain showers and possibly intermittent snow fall. A strong breeze turning into gales will be coming in from the north west. Daytime temperatures will see a high of 2°C or 36°F, with expected lows of -4°C or 25°F overnight. Tomorrow’s weather will be less chilly with similar cloud cover but no rain. From then, the remainder of the week looks to be rainy but with milder temperatures as we move into the weekend.


Tom Rado/MarWer


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