UK and Poland say they will defend Ukraine’s right to join NATO

9 February 2022, 03:37 PM

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, during his meeting with Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak in London, reiterated the UK and Poland’s commitments to defend Ukraine’s right to join NATO, according to a statement by the UK Ministry of Defense published on Feb. 8.

“Poland is one of our oldest allies; as strong partners in NATO and Europe we will both stand firm on protecting the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and NATO’s open door policy,” Wallace said.

The secretary and his Polish counterpart discussed mutual efforts to keep Moscow diplomatically engaged in order to find a way to defuse the worsening Russian military escalation on Ukraine’s border.

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Wallace is expected to visit Moscow this week, according to the message.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a new strategic partnership between Poland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom on Feb. 1.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the details of the emerging alliance were discussed during Zelensky’s visit to London last December.

“We’re strengthening our bilateral partnership, following December top-level talks, and are developing trilateral ties with Poland and Ukraine,” said Truss.

Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the new alliance was not a replacement for NATO, nor geographically based, but instead “ties together countries on the basis of shared values.”

Russia has deployed more than 130,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

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