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Polish PM: NATO Soldiers Operating in Ukraine

Polish PM: NATO Soldiers Operating in Ukraine
folder_openEurope... access_time2 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies

NATO soldiers are already in Ukraine helping Kiev but the US-led bloc does not want to get directly involved in the conflict with Russia, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said.

Tusk made the comments on Wednesday, answering a question from a ten-year-old girl who was among the accredited reporters at the Polish parliament and asked why the UN or NATO had not intervened in Ukraine yet.

“NATO today is helping as much as it can. Without NATO’s help, Ukraine would not have been able to defend itself for so long,” Tusk replied, according to a translation of his remarks.

“Well, and there are some troops there, I mean soldiers. There are some soldiers there. Observers, engineers. They’re helping them out,” he added.

The child reporter, identified by Polish media as Sara Malecka-Trzaskos, had asked Tusk how the Yugoslav conflict ended, bringing up the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the 1990s.

The prime minister, however, argued that the UN “failed the test” in the Balkans and that “real troops, NATO troops,” had to intervene and bomb Belgrade to end the war, apparently mixing up the 1992-95 conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the 1999 bombing campaign over Kosovo.

As to why the US-led bloc would not do the same with Ukraine, Tusk said that “everyone in the world is afraid that a nuclear war could break out” in case of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.

Earlier in the day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg argued that the bloc would not deploy forces to Ukraine, since Kiev had not asked for it.

“NATO has no intention of deploying forces to Ukraine. When I visited Ukraine last week, the Ukrainians did not ask for NATO troops in Ukraine, what they asked for is more support,” Stoltenberg told reporters while on a trip to Italy.

French President Emmanuel Macron has brought up the notion of a NATO intervention in Ukraine on several occasions, insisting that it should not be ruled out as part of “strategic ambiguity.” He has suggested that Western soldiers could be dispatched “if the Russians were to break through the front lines,” and if the Ukrainian government requested it.

Russia has repeatedly warned the US and its allies that they risk direct confrontation by providing weapons, ammunition, and money to Ukraine. The West has propped up Kiev with more than $200 billion worth of aid, while insisting that this does not make them participants in the conflict.