Ukraine, Poland and UK agree on accord to combat Russian aggression
February 17, 2022
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and her counterparts in Poland and Ukraine issued a joint statement on Thursday saying that the three nations would be developing a “trilateral memorandum of co-operation” to support Ukraine and combat Russian aggression amid rising tensions between the two Eastern European nations.
“This will demonstrate our commitment to further strengthening the strategic cooperation and engagement between our 3 nations on the highest priority issues in support of Ukraine,” the three said.
“We will work together to advance our cooperation, which includes but not limited to co-ordinating support to the International Crimea Platform, increasing our collaboration on cyber security, energy security, and boosting strategic communications to counter disinformation,” they added.
The three said that the United Kingdom and Poland stood in solidarity with Ukraine in helping the former Soviet state defend its independence and sovereignty and would provide Ukraine with support.
The joint statement also offered a thinly veiled rebuke at Russia, without naming the country specifically, for its efforts at trying to dictate whether Ukraine should be a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
“We reiterate that each European State is free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, and no State can consider any part of Europe as its sphere of influence,” the three said.
The prime ministers of Poland and Ukraine signaled earlier this month that a trilateral cooperation was in the works.
“I hope that in the near future we will be able to officially launch a new regional format of cooperation Ukraine-Poland-UK, in the context of ongoing Russian aggression, we should sign a trilateral document on cooperation to strengthen regional security,” Ukrainain Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said during a joint news conference with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, according to Reuters.
The development comes as Russia has amassed around 150,000 troops near Ukraine, though Moscow claims that it has pulled back some of those troops – statements that have been met with scrutiny by U.S. officials and others.
President Biden said on Thursday that Russia could invade Ukraine “within the next several days.”