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Polish FM in US urges support for Ukraine

23.02.2024 18:00
Poland's top diplomat Radosław Sikorski has been garnering support for Ukraine through a host of public appearances and media interviews during a visit to the United States.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski speaks to reporters in New York on Friday.
Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski speaks to reporters in New York on Friday.Photo: PAP/Marcin Cholewiński

Sikorski, who arrived in America this week to attend a series of United Nations meetings on Ukraine and hold talks with his US counterpart, told reporters on Friday that one of the main objectives of his visit was to persuade Republican members of the US Congress to approve a new aid package for Ukraine.

"My most important mission when it comes to the war in Europe is to convince hesitant congressmen, or in fact one person - the Speaker of the House of Representatives - to put the aid package for Ukraine to a vote," Sikorski said.

He added that further aid for Ukraine was essential "from the point of view of America's credibility as an ally," and that blocking the bill was harming America's image internationally.

In an earlier comment for broadcaster MSNBC, Sikorski appealed to Johnson to put Ukraine aid package to a vote as soon as possible.

"They need it now," he said,

Speaking to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the Polish foreign minister warned that "if Ukraine is allowed to be conquered, the price of deterring Putin will only rise.”

In a separate interview with Bloomberg TV, Sikorski said: “You still cannot fight with bare hands. We’ve pledged to help Ukraine. The president of the United States ... made a historic speech in Kyiv, saying that Ukraine will have US support whatever it takes. Now is the time to stay the course and deliver the arms.”

He also argued that Europe "needs to go into crisis mode" in response to the Russian threat.

Polish FM to attend UN debate on Ukraine, hold talks with Blinken

While in New York this week, the Polish foreign minister is expected to take part in events held by the UN to mark two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

These include a UN Security Council debate on the war in Ukraine and a UN General Assembly meeting "on the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine."

The itinerary of Sikorski's visit also includes a meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, according to Poland's Permanent Mission to the UN.

Polish, US top diplomats to meet in Washington

After his stay in New York, Sikorski is expected to head to Washington to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Sikorski and Blinken will hold talks on Russia's war in Ukraine, Polish-American security cooperation, efforts to counter Russian disinformation, and preparations for NATO's summit in the US capital later this year, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

While in Washington, the Polish foreign minister is scheduled to take part in a debate at the Atlantic Council think tank and meet with former US Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis and members of the US Congress.

Two years into Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the war continues to have devastating consequences for civilians and far-reaching effects on the global economy, the UN Security Council has said in a report published on its website.

By January 21, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) hadocumented 29,731 civilian casualties, including 10,287 deaths, while noting that actual figures are likely to be considerably higher, according to the securitycouncilreport.org website.

Amid a humanitarian crisis, 40 percent of Ukraine's population—14.6 million people—is in need of humanitarian assistance, the report said. That figure includes 3.3 million people living in frontline communities, which are grappling with severe shortages of resources and constant bombardment, the UN Security Council added.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), around 10 million people have been forcibly displaced by the war, including 3.7 million internally displaced people and 6.3 million refugees who have fled from Ukraine to neighbouring countries.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Friday is day 730 of Russias war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, UN Security Council