Sikorski: ‘Ukraine’s integrity should be restored’

Sikorski: ‘Ukraine’s integrity should be restored’

Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has said that “Ukraine’s integrity must be restored,” and that “tougher sanctions should be enforced” on Russia following the MH17 catastrophe.

Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (2-R) and Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak (R) with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (2-L) and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon (L) at a press conference after a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, 28 July 2014. The meeting was on Ukraine security situation, September's NATO summit in Wales and others.  EPA/PAWEL SUPERNAK

Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (2-R) and Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak (R) with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (2-L) and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon (L) at a press conference after a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, 28 July 2014. The meeting was on Ukraine security situation, September’s NATO summit in Wales and others. EPA/PAWEL SUPERNAK

Sikorski added that responsibility for the shooting down of MH17 over eastern Ukraine should be borne by “those who supplied the weapons”.

The comments come after a bilateral Polish-British meeting between the countries’ foreign and defence ministers in Warsaw, Monday, as well as ongoing talks between EU ambassadors in Brussels over deepening sanctions against Russia.

Foreign Minister Sikorski and Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak met their opposite numbers, Philip Hammond and Michael Fallon repectively.

Both British secretaries of state are newcomers to Prime Minister David Cameron’s cabinet following a recent shakedown earlier in July.

Sikorski told journalists, Monday afternoon, that the joint talks between the foreign and defence ministers centred around the development of events in Ukraine and the need to “take a quick decision” over sanctions on Russia after the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, which killed all 298 people on board.

“We believe that sanctions should be imposed as the responsibility for this tragedy is held by those people – the Russian Federation – who supplied and continue to supply advanced weaponry to so-called ‘separatists’,” Sikorski said.

Ahead of a NATO summit in Wales at the beginning of September, Sikorski said that it is crucial to beef up the eastern flanks of the Transatlantic partnership. “It is time to feel just as safe in Poland as in our other partners in the alliance,” Poland’s foreign minister underlined.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said that the UK and Poland stand “arm in arm” over the crisis in Ukraine.

Fallon added that the events in Poland’s eastern neighbour “underline the importance of NATO, which is the backbone of Poland’s and the UK’s security.”

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said that the shooting down of the Malaysian jetliner “may amount to a war crime”.

The announcement comes as continued fighting in eastern Ukraine again prevented an international task force from gaining access to the MH17 crash site. (jb)

Source: PAP/BBC

Categories: News in English

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