Poland’s foreign policy determined by Ukrainian-Russian issues – Foreign Minister
May 9, 2014
Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski
The issues of the Ukrainian crisis and Russia's policy towards its neighbors predominated the annual address on foreign policy priorities delivered by Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in the lower house on Thursday.
Minister Sikorski said that this year his foreign policy address falls on a special moment.
“I see the deteriorating international situation in our neighborhood. We are witnessing a crisis around our borders. Military operations are carried out, the consequences of which can be felt not only in our country and in Europe, but around the world, too, “ Sikorski told MPs.
He added that Poland’s eastern policy is predicated on the existence of not only Ukraine, but also Belarus, and the Baltic States as strong and independent countries that live at peace with Poland.
He also said that not in all parts of the East “democracy has taken root” and history “whimsical, uncontrollable, wresting itself free from chains of reason” has prevailed. This is, according to Sikorski, confirmed by the conflicts in the Caucasus, the uncertain situation in Moldova’s Transnistria, and “ongoing attempts to destabilize Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea”.
“Russian operations in Ukraine evidently violate the principles of peaceful coexistence of nations. The use of armed forces under the pretext of protecting a national minority, which – let’s be clear – is not persecuted in Ukraine, is legally unacceptable and politically dangerous”, Sikorski said, adding that Poland has been following all this with growing concern.
Europe needs an ambitious defense policy, according to Sikorski. NATO membership is a tangible element of Poland's security which could be further strengthened by EU's military integration.
Despite the adverse political climate, the Polish government still wants to develop economic relations with Russia, the fifth largest market for Polish products, in the spirit of pragmatism, Sikorski said.