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Warsaw considers forming unit of draft-aged Ukrainians living in Poland, FM says

by Kateryna Denisova May 31, 2024 7:10 PM 2 min read
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski speaks to the media on Jan. 30, 2024 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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Warsaw is considering forming and training a unit of draft-aged Ukrainian men living in Poland, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in Prague on May 31, the Wnp.pl media outlet reported.

Sikorski believes that this move will help Kyiv more than sending a Polish training mission to Ukraine.

Kyiv has been discussing with France and other states the possible presence of foreign instructors on the ground in Ukraine, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said on May 27. Paris may reportedly soon send its military trainers to the country, despite concerns of some Western allies.

“Poland considered Ukraine's request for training, but we came to the conclusion that it would be both safer and more effective to train a Ukrainian unit formed of Ukrainians in Poland who are subject to conscription into the Ukrainian army,” the minister said.

With some exceptions, Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving Ukraine during the war while martial law is in effect.

Kyiv announced in late April that Ukraine was temporarily suspending new applications for consular support for military-age men abroad due to the new law on mobilization. Less than a month later, the Foreign Ministry said it would restore consular services.

Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz said then that Poland would help Ukraine bring its draft-aged men back, while Sikorsky called the move “ethically ambiguous.”

He said that Poland would wait for Ukraine to "take the initiative" on how to approach sending Ukrainian men back to Ukraine.

"Although, of course, we understand that Ukraine needs its defenders to defend its homeland," the minister added.

Sending troops to Ukraine ‘shouldn’t be ruled out,’ Polish FM says
“We should not rule out any option. Let (Russian President Vladimir) Putin guess what we will do,” Sikorski said in answer to Gazeta Wyborcza’s question about the possibility of sending Polish troops to Ukraine.

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