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Polish ambassador does not consider security guarantees for Ukraine viable without Warsaw participating

Sunday, 10 September 2023, 10:42

Polish Ambassador to Ukraine Bartosz Cichocki believes that a working model of security guarantees from Western allies for Ukraine is impossible without his government's participation.

Source: an interview with Cichocki by BBC Ukraine, as reported by European Pravda 

Details: Cichocki said he was unaware of any alleged discontent in Warsaw because Kyiv had hardly consulted Poland, one of its closest allies, in its work on the "system of guarantees".


He noted that so far, there is only a declaration by the G7 countries (which Poland has not yet joined), which, in essence, is more of a "wish list" since it does not yet mention real guarantees.

The ambassador believes that in order to be effective, any future model of allies' guarantees for Ukraine requires the close involvement of Poland.

Quote: "We are analysing this declaration, but we are counting on the fact that a real system of guarantees will appear in the future. And we realise that if we are talking about a system of guarantees for Ukraine, then it will not work without Poland.


With all due respect to Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, this war has shown that our communications, the airport in Rzeszów, our railways, and roads play a key role. And we know that at some point we, together with our Western allies, with Ukraine, will sit down and have a serious conversation about real guarantees, not about declarations, because this will mean serious consequences for us," Cichocki stressed.

As he said, this means a serious internal debate about investments in infrastructure and who should make them, since this will be about infrastructure that is not directly needed by Poland itself.

Quote: "Just so you understand: now, with the current level of support, Poland spends 30 million zlotys (over US$7 million) every month on logistical needs. Because the British, the Germans, and the Americans deliver various things, and then we have to load them and transport them to Ukraine. And the European Commission does not compensate us for this expenditure," Cichocki noted.

The ambassador added that Warsaw would like to preserve NATO as a cornerstone of the common security of the Western countries, despite the creation of alternative protection for Ukraine before it joins the Alliance.

Quote: "No one, neither Ukraine nor even the West, is planning to create any alternative NATO. But we all need to think about how this system of guarantees, which will function outside NATO, will affect the Alliance," the diplomat said.

When asked about the future accession of Poland to the system of guarantees for Ukraine, Cichocki said that he absolutely did not rule this out, but it was important for Warsaw to clarify the details.

Quote: "Now there is a declaration on the table in front of us. It is more or less as if I were to tell you: don't be afraid; if your car breaks down, I will lend you mine. And we would like it to be clear to everyone who is lending the car, to whom are they lending it, what car, for how long, and so on... We are working very seriously on analysing our participation, which will be very special because it will not just be about sending some aid to Ukraine from some distant country.

I can well imagine that heavy military equipment, which will guarantee the security of Ukraine, will be deployed not on the territory of Ukraine but near its borders so that it can be quickly transferred there. For us, this will mean (additional obligations and costs). We would like to hear how everyone involved envisions all of this, and we are open to such conversations," the ambassador noted.

Cichocki called talk about potential scenarios under which Poland might agree to send its troops to Ukraine dangerous.

Quote: "Different scenarios are possible, but it would be irresponsible to talk about them publicly," he said.

In the interview, the ambassador also spoke about the first war days and weeks in Kyiv and how he and his assistants were mistaken for looters during the evacuation of their colleagues' belongings.


Bartosz Cichocki is known as the only Western ambassador, apart from the Vatican's envoy, who did not leave Kyiv at the beginning of the full-scale war in February 2022.

At that time, Cichocki posted a photo of his simple lunch on social networks and expressed his confidence that Kyiv would survive.

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