Minister Radek Sikorski gives policy statement to parliament, Thursday: photo - PAP/Grzegorz Jakubowski
“Russia’s actions in Ukraine clearly violate the principle of peaceful coexistence among nations,” Minister Sikorski told MPs and Russian armed forces in Ukraine is " legally unacceptable and politically dangerous."
“We are witnessing a crisis on Poland’s borders and the consequences can be felt around the world,” Sikorski added.
According to the minister, Polish foreign policy is committed to the ancient maxim : "Reason is higher than force ."
"When Russia cooperates with the world and respects its rules we are pleased by this and we are the first to cooperate. But when Russia annexes the territories of its neighbors and threatens them with violence, we are equally quick to draw conclusions.
“The foundations of Poland’s eastern policy is the existence of Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic States as strong, independent countries living in harmony with Poland,” Sikorski continued.
The foreign minister said that Poland wanted a success story for its eastern partners similar to what the country has experienced since throwing off the yoke of communism 25 years ago.
The EU’s Eastern Partnership has been “a great success” Sikorski said and is “not a threat to Russia,” he emphasized.
He went on to say that “Europe’s response to the crisis must be firm but balanced”, with sanctions going hand in hand with diplomatic efforts to diffuse the crisis.
Earlier, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said following talks with NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Warsaw, that the parliamentary debate on Poland’s foreign policy is taking place during the most “dramatic international context” since Poland regained its independence with the fall of communism in 1989.
PM Tusk (right) with Anders Fogh Rasmussen in warsaw on Thursday: photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka
PM Tusk said that he emphasized during the talks with NATO’s chief that Poland expects a greater alliance presence in the central and eastern European region.
“Of course, this requires more work but we know the Secretary-General wants a more secure Poland,” the head of the Polish government said.
Tusk also said that Poland was willing to carry the increased financial and organizational burden that strengthening defences would incur, at a time when NATO is pushing its European partners to increase defence spending.
Meanwhile, Anders Fogh Rasmussen thanked the Polish government for its support to Ukraine.
"You have played a key role in the response to the political crisis in Ukraine. When the Ukrainians demanded the right to vote on their future, you have been a leading voice in Europe,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen added that Russian aggression towards Ukraine posed challenges for the alliance.
"To meet this challenge , we must show solidarity, show determination and leadership," he said. (pg)