WARSAW Poland will join the euro in the future because adoption of Europe's common currency would raise its status among the Western nations and increase its security, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday.
Tusk, who has led Poland's government since 2007, said, however, that Warsaw would not be targeting euro entry in the next "several years".
"Entering the euro zone would be, in a strategic take, another anchor that would maintain Poland in the group of the most important Western nations and increase our security," Tusk told polityka.pl website in an interview.
This is the first time Tusk has talked about Warsaw's strategic goal of entering the euro zone in the context of security.
Other policymakers, including the central bank Governor Marek Belka, have said Warsaw should consider faster euro adoption for geopolitical and safety reasons in the wake of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
But Tusk said serious hurdles remained on Poland's path to the euro.
"Let's not have any illusions. The (financial) crisis has forced a deep integration of the euro zone. Poland will not be joining it in the next several years for both political and economic reasons," he said.
Tusk said there was not a sufficient majority backing a necessary change in the constitution, which says only the National Bank of Poland can issue money used in Poland.
Entering the euro zone would automatically transfer that responsibility to the European Central Bank.
He pointed to economic factors and said that Warsaw needed to make sure that euro adoption was safe for the economy.
"We should not stop aiming at euro membership as a target because it is not only an economic project. It is also a geopolitical project," Tusk said.
(Reporting By Karolina Slowikowska; Editing by Toby Chopra)