A stronger Ukrainian army can reduce conflict

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WARSAW, Poland – Strengthening the Ukrainian army and supplying it with arms could prevent an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and serve Europe’s interests, a senior Polish security official said on Thursday.

Stanislaw Koziej, head of the Polish National Security Bureau, met Oleksandr Turchynov, president of the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council, to discuss cooperation between neighboring countries.

He said they agreed that it would be in “the interests of Europe, Poland and Ukraine to strengthen the Ukrainian army and provide it with weapons.” He did not specify what type of weapons could be supplied.

“The stronger the Ukrainian army,” said Koziej, “the greater the chances of ending the escalation of the conflict”.

Poland has offered Ukraine non-lethal military supplies such as food, first aid kits, blankets and helmets. And that’s to help train Ukrainian troops, who have been fighting Russian-backed separatists since April. So far, the Polish government has indicated that it will not supply weapons to Ukraine, but said Kiev is free to make commercial purchases from Polish arms producers.

The US administration plans to give Ukraine arms to help it fight Russian-backed rebels.

Turchynov also met Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and was due to meet Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak and Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna during his two-day visit.


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