Russia to pose threat to Europe even after reaching ceasefire with Kyiv, warns Polish FM

Russia would continue to threaten the peace in Europe even after a ceasefire agreement is reached over the conflict in Ukraine, said Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau on Tuesday. During a press conference alongside his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, Rau said that it would be “daydreaming” to think that Russia would change immediately after the ceasefire is pledged in the Moscow-Kyiv war. The Polish Foreign Minister even expressed fears of his country facing a Russian invasion. 

Rau said, “That Russia changes immediately after a ceasefire has been agreed is daydreaming. It would remain a danger for peace in Europe”. Not only did he fear the Russian invasion into Poland, but also “the danger of an armed invasion of the countries in the NATO eastern flank.”

According to Rau, both Poland and Germany must strive for Russia “to suffer a strategic defeat and its occupation forces to leave Ukraine within the borders recognized by international law”.

Meanwhile, the German Foreign Minister made it evident that the Donetsk region belongs to Ukraine. Baerbock said, “Ukraine is a sovereign state within its borders and this is true for now, this is true since 2014 and this is true for the future.” On Tuesday, Baerbock welcomed her newly-appointed French counterpart Catherine Colonna after having met her Polish colleague Zbigniew Rau, who was visiting Berlin.

💬”Poland has repeatedly warned various 🇩🇪governments against conducting policy towards Russia, based on wishful thinking rather than sober assessment of political processes taking place in Russia”, said FM @RauZbigniew at a press conference after a meeting with FM @ABaerbock. pic.twitter.com/pyekqeXfxJ

— Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇵🇱 (@PolandMFA) May 24, 2022

‘Germany should play a leading role’, said Rau

In the same press conference, Rau called for Germany to “play a leading role” in building both security and peace, including in Ukraine. Rau also told the press conference, “There is no doubt that today Germany should take a leading role in building a system of security and defending peace in Europe, a peace which includes Ukraine, but is directed against Russia”. The Polish Foreign Minister said, “We trust that Germany will take on such a role, helping Ukraine win the war with Russia and leading it ultimately to the European Union.”

Rau also expressed hope that Germany would back Ukraine’s application for European Union (EU) membership. “I know that on the German side there exists a will for such action.” “There is no alternative to that because otherwise, it would lead to an erosion of Germany’s trustworthiness.” Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Colonna also said that the 27-nation-bloc must adopt the sixth package of sanctions against Russia at the earliest.

In a separate conference alongside Baerbock, Colonna said, “We have to quickly adopt the sixth package of sanctions which will foresee the progressive end of the imports of Russian oil”.

With my German colleague @ABaerbock in #Berlin today: we stressed the need to strengthen support for #Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. This humanitarian, economic, diplomatic & military support must be accompanied by the rapid adoption of the 6th package of sanctions. https://t.co/fQsZCClB4q

— Catherine Colonna (@MinColonna) May 24, 2022

Image: AP

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