News Foreign policy Ministry Travel to Poland
15 March 2017
The MFA chief recalled the message of the recent joint visit to Kyiv with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: “Ukraine is not left alone in light of the conflict waged against it by Russia. We call on Russia to halt its aggression against Ukraine, to return the seized lands and to revert to cooperation with Ukraine and the European Union on the basis of international law,” he appealed.
“We appreciate very much Poland’s friendly support in our struggle against the Russian aggression. This friendship, partnership is really unique,” said in turn the chief of Ukrainian MFA, thanking Poland for its support. Minister Klimkin also referred to the recent incidents of vandalism on Polish cemeteries and monuments. “It is not an accident. We know that this is being done on purpose,” he stressed.
Polish MFA chief noted that the Normandy and Minsk formats have led to halting the Russian offensive, but have not been able to establish lasting peace. “I believe that the idea is slowly maturing that a new format is needed, perhaps with US participation, which will create hope for resolving the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. It will be up to Ukraine to decide about this,” he said. Minister Klimkin said that in Eastern Ukraine “there is no actual ceasefire, and the OSCE is incapable of controlling the situation.” According to him, this is Russia’s intentional strategy. “We will not allow to destabilise Ukraine and to stifle our efforts.” The Ukrainian minister said he hoped that in the next few months it will be possible to introduce visa free travel between Ukraine and the EU and that an association agreement will be signed.
Speaking about the issue of Nordstream, Minister Waszczykowski stated that it is “an instrument of Russia’s political influence on all of Europe”: “For years Polish authorities have been actively seeking to diversify the import of gas from other global sources. In five years, we are able to make Poland independent of Russian gas deliveries,” he said. The minister also mentioned the planned with Denmark and Norway construction of a gas pipeline connecting Poland to the North Sea area.
Minister Klimkin in turn recalled that for over a year Ukraine has not bought “one cubic meter of Russian gas. Four years ago this would not have been possible. We have achieved this thanks to solidarity and assistance of our friends. The European Union should ask itself whether it wants to be dependent on a state that nobody trusts, on a state that is waging a hybrid war with the European Union,” he stressed.
Talks between Polish and Ukrainian MFA chiefs focused on the security situation in the region, including Eastern Ukraine, Ukraine’s aspirations for closer ties with the European Union and bilateral issues. The ministers jointly opened the inaugural meeting of the Polish-Ukrainian Partnership Forum.
During his visit to Warsaw, Minister Klimkin also met with President Andrzej Duda, Minister Krzysztof Szczerski, and Speaker of the Senate Stanisław Karczewski, among others.
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