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Polish FM, US Sec of State discuss situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan

Zbigniew Rau, the Polish Foreign Minister spoke on the phone with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The topic of the conversation was NATO’s response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the presence of the North Atlantic Alliance in Afghanistan.
The conversation took place on the initiative of the American side.

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The press services of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the details of the talks between Minister Rau and Secretary Blinken on Tuesday evening.

According to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the officials “assessed the increasing of Russian military presence and activity at the eastern border of Ukraine and on the Crimean Peninsula occupied by the Russian Federation,as for the scope from 2014, highly disturbing and threatening international security”.

They also stressed that “the aforementioned situation was additionally aggravated by the lack of a constructive reaction by the Russian Federation to diplomatic initiatives aimed at de-escalating tensions and reducing risk,” the statement reads.

In Donbas (eastern Ukraine), where the ceasefire came into force in July 2020, the conflict escalated. Russia is increasing the number of its troops on the border with Ukraine. Violence on the line of contact that separates Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas from separatists supported by Russia has also increased.

“Such activities lead to a polarization of the situation in Donbas, which has recently deteriorated significantly” Mr Rau and Mr Blinken stressed.

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According to the Polish MFA, the officials also agreed “on the need to continue supporting Ukraine, which is facing the Russian aggression”. “They found it necessary to take measures – including sanctions – aimed at persuading the Russian Federation to ease tensions in relations with Ukraine and to fully engage in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements,” the communique reads.

Minister Rau also informed Secretary Blinken about the results of his visit to Kiev in Ukraine on April 8, devoted to polarisation in the recent conflict in the Donbas. The head of Polish Diplomacy emphasised that Poland, taking over the OSCE presidency in 2022, would pay special attention to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The ministers agreed that preserving the territorial integrity of Ukraine is a matter of the utmost importance and that its borders cannot be questioned by anyone.

The ministers also discussed the issue of NATO’s continued involvement in Afghanistan and the future of the Resolute Support mission. “They agreed on the need to continue supporting the Afghan peace process and efforts to stabilise the situation in this country,” the MFA reported.

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