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“Moscow does not limit itself to anything”: Polish FM supports authorizing Ukraine for strikes on Russia with Western weapons

Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has backed a proposal to allow Ukraine to launch strikes with Western weapons on Russian territory.
Foreign Minister of Poland Radoslaw Sikorski
Foreign Minister of Poland Radosław Sikorski. Photo via Eastnews.ua.
“Moscow does not limit itself to anything”: Polish FM supports authorizing Ukraine for strikes on Russia with Western weapons

In the aftermath of the Russian attacks on the shopping mall in Kharkiv and a residential area in the city, Foreign Minister of Poland Radoslaw Sikorski has backed a proposal to allow Ukraine to launch strikes with Western weapons on Russian territory.

He said Europe must learn to play the escalation game better, keeping Vladimir Putin guessing about our intentions.

The Foreign Minister of Poland said this during an interview with The Guardian.

On the question of allowing Ukraine to use Western weapons to strike Russian territory, Sikorski emphasized that Russia is striking everything that they can within Ukraine.

“The Russians are striking the Ukrainian power grid, grain terminals and gas storage facilities, civilian infrastructure. The Russian operation is being conducted from the headquarters in Rostov-on-Don. Apart from the fact that Russia does not use nuclear weapons, it does not limit itself in any way,” Sikorski said.

He said the constant proclamation of “what our own red line is only encourages Moscow to tailor its hostile actions to our ever-changing self-restraints.”

He was skeptical about Russian threats to use nuclear weapons, saying: “The Americans have told the Russians that if you explode a nuke, even if it doesn’t kill anybody, we will hit all your targets [positions] in Ukraine with conventional weapons, we’ll destroy all of them.”

“I think that’s a credible threat. Also, the Chinese and the Indians have read Russia the riot act. And it’s no child’s play because if that taboo were also to be breached, like the taboo of not changing borders by force, China knows that Japan and Korea would go nuclear, and presumably they don’t want that,” the minister noted.

Europe’s military industrial complex

Although he said Russia was winning mainly small pyrrhic victories, the Weimar group backed a broadly drawn attempt to fill big gaps in EU defense capabilities formed at the end of the Cold War.

“We have allowed all those production facilities to be closed down after the end of the cold war. It costs money to persuade companies to keep production lines in reserve. We just didn’t pay the money. That was part of the peace dividend. And with hindsight it looks like a mistake. It is obvious that Europe is lagging behind, and the EU’s defense and technological and industrial base suffers from years of underinvestment,” the Polish FM said.

He admitted European defense manufacturers still did not feel that the process of rearmament was permanent, and said Vladimir Putin was spending 40% of GDP on defense and would eventually bankrupt his country by making the military so resource hungry.

Russia has 3.5 million people in the military industrial complex. By contrast, “Europe didn’t just disarm, it deindustrialized in the defense field,” Sikorski said.

He said: “Companies were telling me, ‘We read in the newspapers that there is all this demand for armaments but we are not getting the long-term contracts. And if we don’t have a 10-year contract, we are responsible to our shareholders. We can’t make the investments.’ So it’s about guaranteeing them that this is not just for tomorrow, but this is a long-term rearmament and change in security.”

In addition, Sikorski spoke on the matter of Russian methods on influencing politics in other countries. He warned that Putin was trying to woo the right in Europe and the US by weaponizing traditionalism.

“He is an absurd leader of the international conservatism. We are talking about a KGB colonel, for Christ’s sake. I think the Russians about 15 years ago did some polling, or maybe they just noticed that on some issues like attitudes to homosexuality, gender, to all kinds of identities, you can drive wedges in our societies. On that, for example, central Europe was 10, 15 years behind western Europe in attitudes,” Sikorski said.

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