Sunday, March 2, 2014

• Ukraine crisis: 'World stands on brink of conflict,' warns Polish prime minister by Matthew



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Poland's Prime Minister, Donald Tusk

Poland has warned the world "stands on the brink of conflict" as the Russian and Ukrainian stand off continues
Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, has warned the “world stands on the brink of conflict” over Ukraine, and that “Europe must send a clear signal it will not tolerate any acts of aggression of intervention.”

The warning came in a speech made by Mr Tusk at a specially-convened press conference and expressed Poland’s growing alarm at the situation in its neighbour.
“The world stands on the brink of conflict, the consequences of which are not foreseen,” said the prime minister.
“Not everyone in Europe is aware of this situation.

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A boy warms near a fire at a barricade in central Kiev
(Louisa Gouliamaki/ Getty)


“Ukrainians have to find out today that they have real friends,” Mr Tusk continued. “Europe must send a clear signal that it will not tolerate any acts of aggression or intervention.”

Russia's use of force in Ukraine has triggered mounting anxiety in Poland, which, given its bloody treatment at the hands of Moscow in the past, still views the Kremlin with deep and ingrained suspicion.

Bronislaw Komorowski, the Polish president, has called for the North Atlantic Council to convene in an emergency session saying "we [Poles] can feel threatened by the potential use of Russian armed forces on Ukrainian territory."

Meanwhile, Radek Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister who played a key role in brokering the agreement that ended the deadly conflict in central Kiev, cut short a visit to Iran to deal with the crisis on his country’s borders.

In the Czech Republic, the country’s president drew parallels with Russia’s military intervention in Crimea to the Warsaw Pact's crushing of the Prague Spring in 1968.
“Although I absolutely understand the interests of the majority Russian-speaking population of Crimea... we have our experience with military intervention from 1968,” said Milos Zeman.

“I think any military intervention creates a deep ditch which cannot be filled for a generation,” he added.

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