Foreign Secretary welcomes Polish Foreign Minister to London

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

March 10
17:52 2014

The Foreign Secretary William Hague met his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski today to discuss the current crisis in Ukraine and efforts to defuse and de-escalate the crisis.

Speaking after the meeting the Foreign Secretary said:

It is always a pleasure to welcome to London Foreign Minister Rados?aw Sikorski of Poland, but of course it is a particularly important time for our discussions about Ukraine and for making sure that the whole of the EU stands together in this crisis.

We have been discussing this morning our work together. Our very strong concern about what has happened - which is the clear violation of the independence, of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. We have discussed the work that is now going on diplomatically. Ukraine and Poland are both an important part of this, to try to make sure there is de-escalation; provocations are avoided, flashpoints are avoided. We continue to work with our European partners and with the United States to try to make sure that there is an international contact group or coordination group and that Russia and Ukraine are in direct contact and negotiation with each other. This, in the coming days, remains a vital priority.

We have also discussed our preparations to follow up on the decisions of the European Council last week, that there will be costs and consequences for Russia if no such progress is made indeed, far reaching consequences in the event of a further Russian intensification of these dangers and of this crisis.

Again over the coming days British and Polish diplomats will be working together closely on the preparation of the necessary measures. We are coordinating closely our positions within the European Union and we are also starting to discuss some of the longer term consequences of what I argued yesterday has been a miscalculation by Russia in the longer term.

What Russia has done will draw the rest of Ukraine into closer unity with each other, and we will be working with Ukrainian leaders to try to make sure that Ukraine has the opportunities that it needs for international support, for closer association with the European Union - provided they continue to be necessary - to create a new political culture and the necessary economic conditions in their own country.

And long term, it means that Europe needs to talk about how we recast our approach including on energy policy to change the balance of leverage between Russia and the EU. I believe that those consequences will be very important for Russia and vital for European countries to think about together - and again the UK and Poland are a very important part of doing that.

So we continue our efforts to defuse and de-escalate this crisis, but to make the preparations that are necessary to make it quite clear that there will be costs and there will be measures taken by Europe, if necessary, in addition to those already announced. And that is what we have been discussing this morning.

Further information

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