Putin to Poland: 'Let's carve up Ukraine'
PR dla Zagranicy
Former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski says that Vladimir Putin suggested to the Polish prime minister back in 2008 that Russia and Poland divide up Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks during a news conference after the EU-Asem summit in Milan, northern Italy, 17 October: photo - EPA/VASILY MAXIMOV
President Putin “wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine,” Sikorski has told a US political magazine.
“This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk when he visited Moscow,” Sikorski says of a meeting between Tusk – who stood down as PM in September - and Putin at a meeting in the Russian capital in February 2008.
“He went on to say Ukraine is an artificial country and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don’t we just sort it out together,” Sikorski, who left the foreign ministry to take up the role of speaker of parliament during a cabinet reshuffle last month, told politico.com.
The former foreign minister said that maverick Russian speaker of parliament, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, sent a message to the Polish government, offering Poland five provinces of western Ukraine in an attempt to pre-empt Polish opposition to the Kremlin’s aspirations in eastern Ukraine, which were finally realised with the annexation of Crimea.
“We made it very, very clear to them– we wanted nothing to do with this,” says Sikorski.
Radolsaw Sikorski said that Russia cannot accept Ukraine as an independent country.
“They cannot admit that a separate nation exists. And if they want to go head to head against Ukrainian nationalism, well, then be my guest. Then Russia will learn that Ukraine is really a nation and face a situation of 20 years of partisan war”. (pg)
Sikorski: I did not authorize interview