Polish minister wants armed NATO ‘peace mission’ in Ukraine
Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has called on NATO to carry out a ‘peace mission’ in Ukraine, following a meeting on Tuesday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev – which was also attended by the prime ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
Kaczynski said it was “necessary to have a peace mission” involving “NATO, [or] possibly some wider international structure,” which would “be able to defend itself” while operating in Ukraine.
“It will be a mission that will strive for peace, to give humanitarian aid, but at the same time it will also be protected by appropriate forces, armed forces,” Kaczynski suggested.
In comments following the meeting, Zelensky stopped short of endorsing the plan, but noted that stronger sanctions and “security guarantees” were discussed, also thanking the foreign officials for their support.
“We absolutely trust these countries and the leaders of these countries... we are 100% sure that everything we discuss will achieve its goals for our country, our security and our future,” he said.
Poland – a NATO member state along with the Czech Republic and Slovenia – has consistently sought to get more involved in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but not directly. While Warsaw had hoped to transfer 28 jets to Ukraine via the US as an intermediary, the Joe Biden administration opted against the idea – citing concerns that such a move could spark a Third World War.
Earlier on Tuesday, another Polish minister called for Russia’s spot on the G20 international forum to be replaced by Poland.
Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, claiming that Russia must demilitarize and “denazify” the government in Kiev after it refused to peacefully resolve the Donbass conflict and sought nuclear weapons and NATO membership. Ukraine has blasted the move as an “unprovoked” attack and insisted it had no intention of reclaiming the Donbass region by force. In the meantime, weapons and other forms of military aid – as well as a steady stream of volunteer foreign fighters – have flooded into Ukraine from NATO states as fighting in the country reaches its third week.