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Polish Foreign Minister: Western allies must rearm in response to Russian aggression

by Dmytro Basmat December 24, 2023 1:54 AM 2 min read
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in a photo on March 23, 2019. (Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Poland's new Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has urged Western allies to further develop plans for long-term military production amid Russia's onslaught of aggression in Europe, the Polish Foreign Minister said in an interview with The Guardian on Dec. 23.

As Russia continues its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Minister Sikorski emphasized the need for European nations to prioritize offering long-term contracts to arms companies, or fund manufacturing themselves to match Russia's wartime economic mobilization, warning that industrial capacities ultimately decide wars.

"As the West, we are 20 times richer than Russia, but if Russia puts its economy on a wartime footing and we continue on a peacetime basis, they can outproduce us,” Sikorski warned.

Sikorski's comments come as the foreign minister returns from his first trip to Kyiv since being appointed to his new role on Dec. 13. Sikorski met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in a bilateral meeting on Dec. 22, hoping to turn "a new page in our relations" with its European neighbor.

Sikorski met with Zelensky at a time when the Ukrainians fear that Western support is waning, with major funding packages from both the EU and U.S. being held up. Pentagon officials have previously warned that U.S. funds to replenish arms and equipment sent to Ukraine will run out on Dec. 30.

“The Ukrainians are tired, but they are the only people who are entitled to be tired by this war. We in this West are either inconvenienced or bored, but we don’t have the right to be tired, because we are not making any sacrifices,” Sikorski said. "If Putin conquers Ukraine, all our other issues will become microscopic by comparison."

Against the backdrop of ongoing threats from Russia, including saber-rattling the use of nuclear weapons, Poland's national security agency has estimated that NATO could face an attack from Russia within 36 months.

Polish officials have previously suggested that Russia might target a NATO alliance member in Eastern Europe, including countries such as Poland, Estonia, Romania, and Lithuania.

Ukraine war latest: Netherlands to prepare 18 F-16s for delivery to Ukraine
Key developments on Dec. 22: * Zelensky meets Polish foreign minister, hopes for new page in bilateral relations * Netherlands to prepare 18 F-16s for delivery to Ukraine * Russian attacks Kyiv, hits high-rise * Air Force: Ukraine downs 3 Russian Su-34 supersonic aircraft * Biden administratio…
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