Harper to visit Canadian frigate in Baltic Sea, Polish counterpart says

WARSAW, Poland — Polish Prime Minister Eva Kopacz says Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit a Canadian frigate conducting military exercises with NATO forces in the Baltic Sea.

Kopacz made the remarks during a joint statement today with Harper in Warsaw.

Her statement appeared to catch officials with the Prime Minister’s Office off guard.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney later confirmed that the prime minister would indeed be visiting HMCS Fredericton as a show of solidarity with Canadian military personnel and their allies.

Kenney refused to discuss the details of the trip.

Harper is in Poland on the latest leg of his European travels, which included taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He also met with Kopacz and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Poland is a major European ally of Canada, which deployed more than 200 troops here on NATO training exercises last year.

Previously, Harper attended the G7 summit in Germany, where the continuing unrest between Ukraine and Russia was a hot topic.

Harper enjoys strong relations with Poland after forging a bond with Kopacz’s predecessor Donald Tusk, who became European Council president last year.

The Polish diaspora in Canada is estimated to be about one million people.

The Canadian Press