Germany must save the eurozone from impending economic catastrophe because it's the only European country that can do so, Poland's foreign minister said.
The biggest threat to Polish security is not terrorism or German tanks or even Russian missiles, but rather "the collapse of the eurozone," Rados?aw Sikorski told the private, non-partisan German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin.
Poland has been a European Union member since 2004 but is not one of the 17 EU states using the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender.
"I demand of Germany that, for your own sake and for ours, you help [the eurozone] survive and prosper," he said. "You know full well that nobody else can do it.
"I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is -- I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity," he said.
Germany invaded Poland during World War II.
"You have become Europe's indispensable nation," Sikorski said.
He called a eurozone breakup -- a prospect now openly discussed -- "a crisis of apocalyptic proportions" that would extend beyond the European financial system.
Sikorski, a resident fellow from 2002-05 at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, also backed Germany's drive for deeper eurozone and EU political integration, saying the 27 EU countries faced a stark choice between "deeper integration or collapse."
And he challenged Britain to support reform or "risk a partial dismantling" of the union, the Financial Times reported.
"We would prefer you in, but if you cannot join, please allow us to forge ahead," he said.
His comments came as Moody's Investors Service said Europe's sovereign-debt crisis could bring multiple countries to default or abandon the euro -- moves that would threaten the credit standing of all eurozone countries.
In addition, the 34-country Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said the euro crisis remained "a key risk to the world economy" and European leaders must provide "credible and large-enough firepower" to halt a eurozone sovereign-debt sell-off or face a severe recession.
The Paris research group said European growth could come to a standstill. And it sharply cut its forecasts for many wealthy Western countries.
Eurozone finance ministers were to meet in Brussels Tuesday to try to agree on how to increase their bailout fund's firepower and to sign off on a $10.7 billion loan installment to prevent Greece from defaulting.
The ministers have said they hope to propose a Europe-wide crisis solution before an EU leaders summit meeting Dec. 9.