The head of Polish diplomacy, Zbigniew Rau, made a visit to Kiev on Thursday, during which he met with Ukrainian FM Dmytro Kuleba. Rau emphasized that his visit was urgent and connected to the threatened peace along Ukraine’s borders.
“The goal of my visit was to reaffirm our policy, that Ukraine is not alone in the defense of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of its borders and that Ukraine has the right to defend itself. An independent and secure Ukraine is an indispensable part of Europe based on the principles of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, the 30th anniversary of which we recently celebrated,” he said.
FM @RauZbigniew on today’s meetings in Kyiv:
?The purpose of my visit was to reaffirm our policy that ?? is not alone in defending its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of its borders and that ?? has every reason to defend itself.
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs ?? (@PolandMFA) April 8, 2021
The Polish FM said that during his talks with the Ukrainian head of diplomacy, they discussed threats to European peace associated with the finalization of work on Nord Stream 2 (NS2) and the escalation of the security situation in Southern and Eastern Ukraine. “We can clearly see that this project permits the synchronization of political, economic and military pressure. This pipeline, if activated, will create an evident and permanent threat to peace in Europe,” he stressed.
Rau also stated that he agreed with the Ukrainian FM that the increasing military presence and activity on Ukraine’s eastern border and in occupied Crimea should be considered during the process of shaping and conducting policy in regard to not recognizing the annexation of Crimea and concerning the infringement of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
“Depending on the situation’s development, our Ukrainian partners must be ready to conduct a serious debate concerning the scope and criteria of selective cooperation with states who breach the fundamentals of international law,” he said.
An escalation in the conflict has been observed in the Donbas region, where an armistice was enacted in July 2020. The head of the general staff of the Ukrainian Army, Commander-in-Chief Ruslan Khomchak, reported last week that Russia had increased the number of its forces near Ukraine’s border.
More than 13,000 lives have been lost in the battles between Ukrainian forces and Russian-supported separatists in Eastern Ukraine since 2014.