Poland calls on Russia to help defuse Ukrainian crisis
June 11, 2014
Russian, Polish and German Foreign Ministers: Sergey Lavrov, Radoslaw Sikorski andFrank-Walter Steinmeier
Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said, after trilateral talks in St Petersburg between Russia, Poland and Germany that Russia must stop the flow of arms and separatists across its border with Ukraine.
"If Russia wants to prove that it wants de-escalation in Ukraine, the best way to do it would be to stop the flow of separatists and arms through the Russian-Ukrainian border," Sikorski said.
He added Ukraine had the right to deploy the army against armed groups on its soil.
“Ukraine has every right to use force, against illegal armed gangs trying the destabilize the country,” Sikorski said.
Sikorski and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier met Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday, in the framework of the Kaliningrad Triangle, to discuss the situation in Ukraine.
The ministers had agreed to the meeting four months ago at a security conference in Munich with a view to find a "constructive way" to solve the political crisis in Ukraine.
Sikorski's and Steinmeier's initiative is part of a broader diplomatic campaign of the US and EU aimed at reaching an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin which would give Ukraine's new President Petro Poroshenko time to stabilize the situation in the country, according to the daily Rzeczpospolita.
Sikorski said Russian President Vladimir Putin's promise to respect the results of the May 25 presidential election that brought Poroshenko to power had been “a step in the right direction”.
However, Polish media write that the first visit of Steinmeier and Sikorski to Russia since the beginning of Crimea occupation ended with a failure. The German and Polish diplomats did not convince their Russian peer to a compromise over the crisis in Ukraine.
Sikorski said that Russia assured them that no repetition of the Crimean scenario would take place. However, The Russian foreign Minister replied with a laugh.
The eastern Ukraine is still torn by internal conflicts while pro-Moscow separatists are clashing with government forces, as the country's newly-elected president, Poroshenko, vowed "to ensure peace and stability" by retaining control in the eastern regions.