Polish PM urges decisive action over Russian military escalation
March 3, 2014
Poland's PM Donald Tusk
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Sunday appealed to international community to put “hard pressure” on Moscow over its aggressive moves against Ukraine in order to prevent the regional crisis turning into a wider conflict.
Following the Russian parliament agreeing to President Vladimir Putin’s request for powers to send armed forces into Ukraine Russian troops have taken control of government buildings and airports in Crimea.
"This conflict has every trace of a conflict that may precede a war; it's a conflict that engages all countries in the world," Tusk said at a press conference on Sunday.
"The only way to stop Russia and also prevent tragic conflicts in this part of the world is through firm pressure and obstinacy on the part of Europe, the United States and Canada," Tusk said.
The Polish PM said the Russia-Ukraine conflict may eventually increase risks for Poland which shares a border with Ukraine.
He said he did not currently see a direct threat to his country, but that "persistent instability or disintegration in Ukraine or a civil war would create a greater threat to Poland in the long run, because we would become a border state with a hot territory next door. "
Also Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski had said earlier that his country “could feel threatened by a potential Russian military intervention” in neighboring Ukraine and called for an emergency NATO meeting to respond to the crisis.
Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Radosław Sikorski has curtailed his visit to Iran as a result of the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
"I have to shorten my visit due to the developments in Crimea and return to Poland," Sikorski said Saturday. "The situation is getting more critical."
Meanwhile several hundred people protested on Sunday outside the Russian embassy in Warsaw against Russia's military incursion into Ukraine. The protesters held signs comparing Russian President to Hitler and Stalin.