‘Europe must isolate Russia’ for its assault on Ukraine: Polish PM
Europe must seclude Russia behind a “security cordon” stretching from Scandinavia to the Balkans in order to protect itself from the Kremlin’s aggressive policy, the Polish prime minister has said.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki addresses a meeting of Poland’s top military officials and commanders, in the east-central city of Legionowo, on Monday, July 10, 2023.PAP/Marcin Obara
Mateusz Morawiecki made the declaration in the east-central city of Legionowo on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
The prime minister addressed a meeting of Poland’s top military officials and commanders on the eve of the annual summit of the NATO alliance, which this year takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania.
In his speech, Morawiecki said that at the turn of the 21st century, “elites in many Western countries believed that spending on arms had become a thing of the past as we live in an era of peace.”
He added that many countries had fallen into “a deep geopolitical slumber,” only to be snapped out of it by Russia’s 1999-2000 war on Chechnya which “displayed the true brutality of the Russians.”
The prime minister stated: “We then saw it during the 2008 invasion of Georgia, during Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and during further aggressive operations in this direction.”
’Russia must be isolated’
Morawiecki stressed that the present “Russian threat calls for a concrete response.”
He added: “Few realise as clearly as we do that to live in a safe world, we must isolate the aggressive neighbour that is Russia. We must isolate Russia by means of a security cordon stretching from Scandinavia all the way to the Balkans. And we must ensure swift accession of Sweden to NATO, as an important partner in the Baltic Sea region.”
The prime minister stated: “The fact that today the entire alliance is united and acts as one fist against the aggressor is a significant defeat for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Kremlin and a great victory for all NATO members. We look forward to the Vilnius summit with great hope.”
Morawiecki also said: “The hope for peace is a strong NATO. Not accepting a false olive branch from the Kremlin, but providing more weapons for Ukraine, modernising our armies, boosting integration within NATO and strengthening the alliance’s eastern flank. I am convinced the NATO summit will be a step in this direction.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.