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Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be restored to ensure lasting peace: Polish FM

31.05.2023 08:30
Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity must be ensured and those responsible for Russian aggression must be brought to justice to guarantee lasting peace in Europe, the Polish foreign minister has said.
  • Polish foreign minister talks regional security at the GLOBSEC conference in Bratislava, Slovakia
Polands Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau talks to reporters in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau talks to reporters in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.PAP/Andrzej Lange

Zbigniew Rau made the remark at an international security conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Tuesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

During the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum 2023, Poland’s top diplomat took part in a panel discussion entitled Leading from the Centre: Central and Eastern Europe at a Time of War, according to officials. 

His co-panelists were the Slovak Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Miroslav Wlachovský, and former Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, the PAP news agency reported.

The discussion centred on Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine, support for Kyiv’s war effort against the Kremlin’s aggression and the requirements for peace, officials said.

Poland’s Rau told the event that “Russia seeks to rebuild its empire,” adding that “Russian imperialism dates back to the 15th century.”

He noted that more than a decade ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin "described the collapse of the Soviet Union as the biggest tragedy of the 20th century.”

The Polish foreign minister said: “We are all in favour of peace in Ukraine, but this peace is framed in various ways by various actors."

Restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, punishment of war crimes

Rau stated: “Peace in Ukraine should entail independence and territorial integrity for Kyiv, reconstruction of Ukraine and bringing those responsible for Russia’s aggression to justice.”

He added: “Only in this way can we achieve lasting peace.”

Poland’s top diplomat stressed that “Russia must not be allowed to return to its imperial policy,” the PAP news agency reported.

According to Rau, “Ukraine is fighting not only for its own freedom, but also for the freedom of other countries of the region.”

‘Ukraine is fighting for our freedom’ 

He said: “In this war, Ukraine is fighting for our freedom, for the freedom of Slovakia, Estonia and Poland.” 

The Polish foreign minister added that countries on the eastern flank of the NATO alliance, including Poland, Slovakia and Estonia, ”are more sensitive to the challenges stemming from their geopolitical situation and historical experiences,” public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Rau told the conference: “We feel obliged to set the agenda, to give Western unity a dynamism that is appropriate to the current challenges. It’s a matter of setting goals. NATO and the European Union need unity with this sort of dynamism.”

He said that "examples of this proactive stance" included Poland’s initiative to bring together allies willing to supply tanks to Ukraine and Warsaw's decision to transfer MiG-29 jets to help Kyiv fight the Russian invasion, according to the IAR news agency.

The Polish foreign minister also told the gathering that “Poland is not only a recipient, but also a provider of security,” and declared that Poland’s defence spending would exceed 4 percent of GDP in 2023, the PAP news agency reported.

Wednesday is day 462 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, gov.pl