Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has said that it is not inconcevable that NATO troops will be sent to Ukraine EPA-EFE/ALBERT ZAWADA POLAND OUT


Polish troops deployment in Ukraine ‘not off the cards’ as Warsaw mulls Macron’s idea

Polish foreign minister Radosław Sikorski has said NATO forces could possibly be deployed in Ukraine.“The West should implement a form of creative and asymmetrical escalation,” he said


Polish foreign minister Radosław Sikorski has said NATO forces could possibly be deployed in Ukraine.

“The West should implement a form of creative and asymmetrical escalation,” he said in relation to the Russian war in Ukraine.

That apparently echoed President Emmanuel Macron’s statement of late February when the  French leader said: “We should not exclude that there might be a need for security that then justifies some elements of deployment.”

Sikorski, speaking at a conference on March 8 in Warsaw commemorating the 25th anniversary of Poland joining NATO, said: “[I] appreciate … Macron’s initiative, because it is about [Russian President Vlaimir] Putin fearing us rather than us being afraid of Putin.”

He noted that, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, 140 of 190 UN members voted to condemn the aggression, thereby setting a legal framework in denouncing it as “unacceptable”.

Sikorski added that, by invading Ukraine, Russia shows it is incapable of accepting Western values of peaceful co-existence with its neighbours, thus forcing NATO to return to its foremost role.

That is why “the West should implement a form of creative and asymmetrical escalation”, he said, adding that “the presence of NATO forces in Ukraine is not inconceivable”.

Sikorski also thanked those countries that, he said, have sent military personnel to Ukraine although he refused to name them, merely stating: “They know who they are.”

He added that, “unlike some European politicians”, he would not be revealing their identities.

Several newspapers, including the Financial Times, Bild and Le Monde, have recently claimed that Western special forces are operating in Ukraine, although that has not been officially confirmed by any officials.

Speaking to Russian daily Izvestia, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said of Sikorski’s remarks regarding NATO troops in Ukraine: “They couldn’t hide it any longer.”

Deputy Speaker of Russia’s upper chamber of Parliament Konstantin Kosachov told the same paper: “The responsibility for the death of Western and Ukrainian military personnel will now fall squarely on the shoulders of NATO politicians.”

Macron is reported to have told French political leaders some days ago that France would be “ready” to send its troops to Ukraine if Russia “aggressively approached” Kyiv or Odessa.

According to Le Monde, France is “considering” sending its special forces to protect critical infrastructure and counter Russian air attacks.

If so, that would be despite the fact that during a summit on help for Ukraine held in Paris on February 26, Macron acknowledged that there was no consensus with regard to deploying NATO members’ forces to Ukraine.

At the same time, his defence minister Sebastian Lecornu insisted the only scenario being considered was that military specialists be used to tackle land-mines and possibly train Ukrainian soldiers to do the same.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, who was also at the Paris summit, admitted that the French proposal opened up a fierce debate and Polish defence minister Władysaw Kosiniak-Kamysz has ruled out his country sending any troops to Ukraine.

Still, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said that Central Europe wanted to see Ukraine “properly armed” now, rather than speculate about what the future may bring.

Witold Waszczykowski MP, former Polish foreign minister in the previous Conservative (PiS) government, wrote on his Facebook account that NATO forces would not engage in fighting in Ukraine and would, effectively, simply sanction the “freezing of the conflict” – which, he argued, would seal Kyiv’s defeat.

PiS politicians are suspicious of any European-only initiative, seemingly fearing it could illustrate Macron’s intended gambit for Europe to “go it alone” in military terms.

In addition, they are concerned that any such initiative would make Central Europe more vulnerable to outside risk were the US to be excluded.

Writing for portal Salon24.pl, Jan Parys, a former Polish defence minister in the 1990s, said he feared that participation in French proposals for an alternative European defence structure would be “tantamount to the beginning of Poland leaving NATO”.

Parys also argued that any campaign for a European defence system independent of the US “plays into the hands of Russia”.

“For several decades, the goal of the Kremlin has been to divide Western countries and separate Europe from the United States,” he said.

Parys added that, given relatively recent history, Europe on its own does today not have sufficient “nuclear, logistical, satellite, weapons or the number of trained soldiers” to be a match for Russia.

Polish President Andrzej Duda and Tusk will meet US President Joe Biden at the White House on March 12 as part of the commemoration of 25 years of Poland’s membership of NATO.

Jerzy Buzek MEP, former Polish prime minister during the country’s joining NATO in 1999, spoke to the Polish Press Agency (PAP) regarding the planned visit.

He said that the fact Biden wanted to speak to both the Polish President and PM together indicated the US viewed the security situation currently facing Poland as “very serious, requiring extraordinary measures and national unity”.

At a meeting of Poland’s National Security Council on March 11, Duda revealed that, during the Biden meeting, his country will propose that NATO oblige its members to spend a guaranteed 3 per cent of GDP on defence.

Currently, only a dozen or so NATO states meet the present 2 per cent of the NATO GDP  target.

Poland, at 3.9 per cent of GDP spending on defence, tops the entire group.