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Poland preparing for various scenarios in Ukraine: president

15.02.2022 17:00
Poland’s president on Tuesday said his country was preparing for various scenarios amid a continuing standoff between the West and Russia over Ukraine.  
Polands President Andrzej Duda talks to reporters after Tuesdays meeting of the Cabinet Council about the situation around Ukraine.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda talks to reporters after Tuesday's meeting of the Cabinet Council about the situation around Ukraine. PAP/Leszek Szymański

Andrzej Duda made the statement after convening a special meeting with government ministers about the Ukraine crisis, the state PAP news agency reported.

The gathering, known as the Cabinet Council, was called amid warnings over an impending Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We must be ready for various scenarios and we were discussing them, in terms of what may happen in and around Ukraine and obviously also in Belarus, where large Russian military forces are currently stationed,”   the president told reporters after the meeting.

Duda added that one potential course of events could be “an outbreak of a military conflict” and "the resulting influx of Ukrainian refugees" into Poland.

“The ministers briefed the meeting in detail about the state of preparations for the various situations that may occur,” the Polish head of state also said. 

“We can definitely say that the Polish authorities are responding, very much in keeping with how events may potentially unfold in Ukraine,” he told reporters.   

Duda also said: “The government is working, taking action; preparations are being made, and the necessary resources are being secured.”

He added that the Polish public "can feel safe - in every case, there will be an appropriate response."

He also called for unity in the face of the Ukraine crisis, both domestically and within the European Union and NATO.

“Ukraine is very much in need of our support,” Duda stated.

Diplomatic drive 

The president announced that he was planning to hold talks with several foreign heads of state in the coming days, adding that Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and top diplomat Zbigniew Rau were also continuing their diplomatic offensive.   

“I deeply believe that we will manage to avoid conflict, that this situation will be resolved by means of diplomacy,” Duda said.

"We are all working to that end," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Poland's Rau met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow and proposed further talks with Russia about Ukraine as part of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), news agencies reported. 

Poland’s top diplomat made the trip to Moscow in his role as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE for 2022, reporters were told.  

Meanwhile, the Polish head of state on Friday took part in an online meeting with US President Joe Biden and the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Romania as well as the heads of NATO and the European Union to discuss security concerns in Eastern Europe.

Duda said after the meeting that the West stood united and in solidarity with Ukraine amid a looming threat of Russian aggression.

Russia has been massing troops and military hardware around Ukraine for weeks, fueling concerns among Western leaders that an invasion could be imminent. 

Moscow has denied any such plans, but has demanded security guarantees from the United States and NATO. These include a ban on the alliance’s eastern expansion and a withdrawal of infrastructure from NATO’s eastern flank, news agencies have reported.

In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine and then fomented a separatist conflict in that country's eastern Donbas region, leading to a wave of EU and US sanctions against Moscow and Russian officials.


Source: IAR, PAP