Poland says has no plans to send lethal weapons to Ukraine
Iran Press TV
Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:25PM
Poland has ruled out sending arms to Ukraine, saying supplying the government in Kiev with lethal weaponry is "out of the question."
"I want it to be clear. It is out of the question to send heavy weaponry to Ukraine, or Grom missiles, tanks or similar weaponry. Poland did not have and has no such plans," Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told Gazeta Wyborcza daily newspaper on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Polish public radio Jedynka quoted Siemoniak as saying, "Supplying arms to Ukraine is the last potential option, and it is worth avoiding it."
Siemoniak, who also serves as a deputy prime minister, said Poland has sent Ukraine's military some 17 million zlotys (about USD 4.6 million) worth of basic necessities, including food and clothing.
Stating that there has been no obstacle for commercial deals, involving armaments, between Poland and its neighbor, Siemoniak said a ceasefire is the first step that should be taken, "and then we can talk."
Minsk the mediator
The comments come ahead of a new round of peace talks over the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
The Belarusian capital city of Minsk will host the negotiations, proposed by Germany and France, on Wednesday.
Leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France will attend the Minsk talks.
The last round of the talks collapsed on January 31, with representatives of pro-Russia forces and the government in Kiev trading blames for the failure of peace process.
Ukraine, Russia, and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk initially sealed a pact in the host city on September 5, 2014. However, both the Ukrainian military and the pro-Russians have violated the truce on an almost daily basis.
Eastern Ukraine: A tale of fatal conflict
Clashes in Ukraine's volatile east have intensified further over the past few days as both government troops and pro-Russia forces are engaged in battle for Debaltseve, a strategic city which links Donetsk and Lugansk, which are the two mainly Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine.
Pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army have been engaged in fierce battle there since Kiev launched military operations to crush the pro-Russia forces in mid-April 2014.
The two flashpoint regions held local referendums in May the same year, where residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation. The move added fuel to the already tense situation in the region.
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