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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Radosław Sikorski: it is absurd to say that we are tired of the war in Ukraine

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We need to prove to ourselves and to Vladimir Putin that we can maintain this course and ultimately win, said the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Radosław Sikorski, at the PISM Strategic Ark conference. He assessed that both the European Union and the United States could afford to support Ukraine because the cost of its defeat would be incomparably greater.

The head of Polish diplomacy Radosław Sikorski took part on Friday in the panel “Final Countdown. Are we even ready to fight and win”, which is part of the Polish Institute of International Affairs PISM Strategic Ark conference. He was asked, among others: about how – in context war in Ukraine – Polish experience can help restore faith that the free world can win.

The minister said that it was a good time to talk about it, because Poland remains an example and symbol of the Western world's victory in the Cold War. He emphasized that everyone knows what it was like 40 years ago and that we have undergone a rapid transformation process from a dictatorship to a democracy and from a command-and-distribution economy to a free market, achieving undeniable success in both these fields.

Moreover, he noted, Poland has since made various assumptions which, in the long run, turned out to be incorrect. He noted that Poland assumed, among other things, that civilization could be achieved Russia and she was convinced that if China are admitted to the World Trade Organization, they will liberalize their economy and perhaps – in the future – their politics, and that Iraq can be a well-functioning democracy.

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– Last year we seemed to be winning, but this year is a challenge – he continued. – We need to prove to ourselves and (Vladimir) Putinthat we can maintain this course and ultimately win, he said.

“It's absurd to say that we are tired of this war”

Sikorski was also asked about claims that the free world does not have enough strength to defeat Russia and should believe that achieving peace negotiations would be a success, as well as the fact that at least some Ukraine it could be independent as a result. The Yalta conference was mentioned in this context. People were asked for suggestions on how to discuss in practice such logic presented by people who call themselves realists.

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that “it is absurd to say that we are tired of this war.” He noted that only EU economies have so far allocated EUR 120 billion for the war, although they allocate more to agriculture and many other issues in the EU budget. He assessed that both the EU and USA can afford to support Ukraine, because the cost of its defeat for the free world would be incomparably greater than the money needed to support Kiev now.

Moreover, he noted, “we are not the ones who can decide what Ukraine can live with.” He estimated that if other countries wanted to decide for Kiev when and under what conditions to enter into peace talks, “then it would actually be another Yalta.”

Sikorski also repeated his assessment that Russia's war against Ukraine is the “last colonial war.” As he said, these types of wars often last for years and ended when the colonial power, tired and exhausted from fighting a colony trying to gain independence, simply “gives up”.

For such a scenario to come true in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine, as the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, the West must continue to significantly support Ukraine in its fight.

Sikorski believes in the United States

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also referred to doubts about further US involvement in the Central European region in the face of a possible return Donald Trump to power, as well as challenges for the US related to, among others, with China's policy towards Taiwan. The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assessed that the level of agreement among American politicians on the need for further support for Ukraine is higher than many analysts think, including among Republicans.

The politician pointed out that when the security of the United States was threatened, among others, Due to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, US allies, including Poland, became involved in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the sources of threats to the US were located.

– We did not say then that this was not our war – emphasized Sikorski, recalling that Poland sent its soldiers to the Near and Middle East, i.e. to a region where there are no direct Polish strategic interests.

How to meet the challenges related to Russia?

According to Sikorski, similarly, a possible defeat of Ukraine would be a fundamental threat to the security of Poland and other US allied countries in the region. He also pointed out that Western policy towards Ukraine is observed all over the world, including, for example, China. According to Sikorski, if the US and the West lead to Ukraine's victory in the war, the leader of China will Xi Jinping may, for example, revise its policy towards Taiwan, confronted with the fact that a possible takeover of control over the island would be many times more difficult for China than it currently seems.

The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also emphasized that “Russia is no longer limiting itself to Ukraine” in its aggressive actions. In this context, he pointed to the migration pressure on the Polish border from Belarus. He pointed out that approximately 90 percent people trying to cross the border has a Russian visa, he also drew attention, for example, to recent Russian border provocations against Lithuania, Estonia and Finland.

Summing up, Sikorski said that the challenges the West faces regarding Russia do not require any “superhuman” gestures or effort. In his opinion, if the West maintains its course towards Russia for the next year or two, a weakened Russia may be ready for “more realistic solutions.”

Main photo source: PAP/Tomasz Gzell



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