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Polish premier refutes Ukraine partition claims

Poland's prime minister on Tuesday slammed claims by a former foreign minister that the government had considered an agreement to partition Ukraine in the early days of its war with Russia.

"The former foreign minister must weigh his words. I expect these shameful statements to be withdrawn. I call on the opposition to dissociate themselves from Radoslaw Sikorski's declarations," premier Mateusz Morawiecki said on social media, referring to the comments by Radoslaw Sikorski

Sikorski on Tuesday was obliged to explain the comments he made on Monday that the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party had a "moment of hesitation" on the partition of Ukraine in the first days of the war in February 2022.

In a morning conversation on local broadcaster Radio Zet, Sikorski was asked on Monday if he believed the PiS government had thought about partitioning Ukraine.

"I think he had a moment of hesitation in the first 10 days of the war, when we all didn't know how it would go, that maybe Ukraine would fall. Had it not been for the heroism of Zelenskyy and the help of the West, things could have been different," he replied.

The PiS "luckily did not follow the path of its foreign allies, and today support for Ukraine is probably the only issue on which there is cross-party agreement in Poland," added Sikorski, who is a member of the Civic Platform party.

"It is difficult to count on Russian propaganda to be interested in reading the full statement before distorting it. But, I would expect the Polish media and so-called commentators to devote 20 minutes to listening to my conversation on Radio Zet," the member of European Parliament said later on Facebook.

According to Sikorski, the difference between the opposition and PiS is that "in our opinion, we can help Ukraine better if we strengthen our position in Europe. PiS, in turn, recognizes that the more Poland is at odds with the European Community, the better it is for our foreign policy."

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Sikorski's statement was picked up by Russian media, long been claiming that Poland would have liked to divide Ukraine. The words of the former foreign minister were recorded by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Opposition politicians were quick to distance themselves from Sikorski's words in the run-up to elections later in 2023 and in the context of discussions on increasing military aid to Ukraine.

"He should be more careful about what he says," said Borys Budka, deputy chairman of the Civic Platform.

"In my opinion, since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the aggression, the Russian attack on Ukraine, the government of Prime Minister Morawiecki, as a rule, behaved correctively," said Budka.

"Radoslaw Sikorski is an experienced politician, he has a lot of knowledge, he should be more careful what he says," said Budka.

Several years ago, Sikorski said in an interview for Politico that his party's leader Donald Tusk received a proposal from Vladimir Putin during a visit to Moscow to partition Ukraine.

Source: Anadolu Agency