Polish PM warns about growing risk of Russia entering Ukraine
August 7, 2014
Polish PM Donald Tusk
Poland has reasons to believe that the threat of a Russian intervention in Ukraine is higher than it was several days ago, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told a press conference on Wednesday.
Tusk said he had received information "in the last several hours" suggesting the threat of direct Russian military intervention in Ukraine has risen over the last couple of days as Moscow has begun a new troop buildup on its border.
The deployments came as Ukrainian government forces advanced on rebel strongholds in the east.
"We have reasons to suspect – we have been receiving such information in the last several hours – that the risk of a direct intervention is higher than it was several days ago," Tusk said.
On Monday, Russia announced what it said were military training exercises in central and western Russia, including all areas where Russia shares a border with Ukraine. Those exercises include the mobilization of more than 100 warplanes and attack helicopters.
Nato officials said 20,000 Russian troops were gathered on the border, with 8,000 deployed in the last week.
On Tuesday night Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said that the recent buildup of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine may signal that it is either pressure on Ukrainian forces into halting their advance or is poised to invade.
"If (it) were to come to a direct intervention of Russian forces in Ukraine than this would obviously be a qualitatively new situation and in my opinion nobody has a good, unequivocal answer today how the Western community should react to that," Tusk also said.
Tusk added that "in the case of Russian intervention it will not be a war in the classic sense of the word" and that "this conflict will not look like as before, when one country declares war on another."