VIENNA (Reuters) – Europe is closer to war than it has been in 30 years, Poland’s foreign minister warned in a third round of diplomacy this week aimed at defusing tensions over demand from Russia that Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO.
Addressing envoys from the 57-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Zbigniew Rau did not name Russia, but listed a series of conflicts in which Moscow’s involvement has been alleged.
“It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than at any time in the last 30 years,” Rau said in a speech outlining his country’s priorities as he takes over the presidency. rotating OSCE this year.
“For several weeks, we have faced the prospect of a major military escalation in Eastern Europe.”
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Poland is among the most hawkish NATO members over what it sees as Russia’s revisionist ambitions in Eastern Europe.
“We must focus on a peaceful resolution of the conflict in and around Ukraine,” Rau added, calling for “full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Ukraine. within its internationally recognized borders”.
Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops near its borders with Ukraine, which is already fighting Moscow-backed separatists in its east. Russia annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea in 2014.
Thursday’s talks in Vienna will be the first this week where Ukraine will be represented, and there only at a low level, that of ambassadors. Ministerial talks between Russia and the United States in Geneva on Tuesday and between Russia and NATO in Brussels on Wednesday failed to yield clear progress.
The Kremlin on Thursday gave https://news.trust.org/item/20220113101353-avwze a grim assessment of Russia’s security talks with the United States and NATO this week, describing them as “unsuccessful” and saying that there was disagreement on fundamental issues.
(Writing by Thomas Escritt; editing by Francois Murphy and Philippa Fletcher)
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