WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Russian troop movements near Ukraine’s border that have ratcheted up fears of a potential invasion have complicated the international political scene to a degree not seen in decades, Poland’s president said Friday.
President Andrzej Duda said the situation is “difficult” and reminiscent of 1989 when Moscow-led communist rule collapsed in Central and Eastern Europe.
Duda said that the “security, sovereignty and freedom” of neighboring Ukraine and Belarus are of great, “strategic” importance to Warsaw.
Duda spoke after talks with top national security officials and political leaders at a National Security Council meeting to discuss heightened tensions along Russia’s border with Ukraine which has long sought to join Western political and military structures and alliances.
Before the meeting, Duda said there were “no direct military threats to Poland right now.”
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that Moscow will not start a war in Ukraine but warned that it wouldn’t allow the West to trample on its security interests. Russia has amassed more than 100,000 Russian troops near Ukraine.
On Thursday, Poland’s lawmakers adopted a resolution condemning Russia’s military buildup they said was “aimed against international law and destroyed order and peace in Europe.” They appealed to NATO and European Union countries to offer full support to Ukraine which is “facing war.”
Poland’s lawmakers stressed that Ukraine has the right to chose its path and that the doors to NATO and EU membership should remain open for Kyiv.