The EU should hold back from sending military lethal aid to Ukraine, Polish Europe Minister Rafal Trzaskowski told euronews on Wednesday, amid calls in the US to send defensive weapons to Kyiv.
“We are not we taking any military solution into account because military solutions are completely off the table because we do not want to destabilise the situation any further,” Trzaskowski said in an interview.
“We have to use of the tools that are at our disposal,” he said.
“We do not want to destabilise the situation but every state has to analyse the situation and obviously will no-one say that none of the options are possible.”
When asked by euronews why he thought the EU’s current policy of restrictive measures would change Moscow’s behaviour, Trzaskowski said:
“Sanctions are just a tool for showing our determination. Obviously no one says they are going to be a wonderful solution for everything. We know it is very difficult to influence Russia’s policy.”
Poland has played a leading role in the diplomatic charge to broker an end to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, with the country’s former foreign minister Radek Sikorski crafting a deal with two EU counterparts to see ex-president Viktor Yanukoyvch step down.
Trzaskowski’s comments come as calls increase across the Atlantic for the United States to start sending weapons to Ukraine’s embattled military.
Senior US officials with close links to the White House came out in favour of provided defensive lethal aid to Kiev on Tuesday, including the former number-three-ranking civilian at the Pentagon, Michele Flournoy, and the former US ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder.
“The West needs to bolster deterrence in Ukraine by raising the risks and costs to Russia of any renewed major offensive,” said a new report signed by the officials and published by the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
“That requires providing direct military assistance — in far larger amounts than provided to date and including lethal defensive arms — so that Ukraine is better able to defend itself,” the report said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will travel to the Munich Security Conference this weekend to hold talks with senior US and NATO officials.