Polish special forces protected Ukrainian negotiators at early 2022 talks with Russia

14 March, 11:52 PM
Press conference after the talks (Photo:www.president.gov.ua)

Press conference after the talks (Photo:www.president.gov.ua)

Poland’s special forces were entrusted with protection of Ukrainian representatives at the February-March 2022 negotiations with Russia in Belarus, Polish newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported on March 14.

According to the report, Polish special forces also provided protection for Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who mediated Russia-Ukraine negotiations in the opening weeks of the invasion.

“The Ukrainian delegation led by Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov flew to Belarus from Polish Biała Podlaska on an S-70i Black Hawk helicopter of the aviation group of GROM special forces unit,” the article reads.

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According to sources in the Polish government, the military commandant's office from Lublinets was already engaged in protecting Ukrainians on their way to Belarus.

Gazeta Prawna writes that top Polish officials were overseeing flights of Ukrainian delegates to Poland’s Brest from the Polish side.

“In early March, it wasn’t clear whether the Ukrainians who fly to Belarus for negotiations can be sure of returning,” said one of the participants in the events.

“The Polish guards gave a certain guarantee that they would return safe and sound.”

The military personnel participating in the flights confirmed that the risks were taken into account, along with a possible scenario evolving a potential threat to the military personnel of Poland – a NATO country.

One of the sources added that the reason for involving Poland in the negotiations was the hope that the Russians, seeing the strength of the resistance of the Ukrainians, “will start real talks.”

“After the first (round of) negotiations, it became clear that it was an illusion,” they added.

At the same time, Polish authorities did not officially confirm this account.

On Feb. 28, 2022, the Ukrainian and Russian delegations held the first round of negotiations in Belarus, with the second round taking place on March 3.

On Oct. 4, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy approved a National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) decision that outlaws negotiations with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, suggesting peace talks with Moscow could commence only after a new Russian leader emerges.

Zelenskyy later said that Ukraine would be able to find a format for dialogue with Putin if Russian forces withdrew from occupied Ukrainian territories.

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