Polish foreign min warns US Helsinki Commission of Ukraine conflict

Rau warned that if the world allowed the use of military power to prove one's rights, then the international order would be shattered. Jim Lo Scalzo/PAP/EPA

Any escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict could involve grave consequences and could spin out of control, the Polish foreign minister has told the US Helsinki Commission.

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, or the US Helsinki Commission, is a US government commission that promotes human rights, military security, and economic cooperation in 57 countries in Europe, Eurasia and North America.

"Any escalation would involve not only tremendous human suffering, but also deep political, strategic, economic and military consequences," Zbigniew Rau, the Polish foreign minister, said at the hearing. "The situation may quickly spin out of control and drag Europe into a huge and multi-faceted security crisis on a scale unseen since World War II."

Russia has amassed more than 100,000 of troops near its border with Ukraine and has demanded concessions from Nato, including assurances the bloc will not accept any new eastern members.

The Polish foreign minister made the comments while reporting on Poland's current chairmanship of the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Rau warned that if the world allowed the use of military power to prove one's rights, then the international order would be shattered.

"This order may be destroyed and replaced with a different one, based on the opposite principle that the stronger party is right," Rau continued, adding that consequences of such developments could spill well beyond Europe.

"The desire to redraw borders by annexing territories is becoming increasingly prevalent in the world," Rau said.

According to the Polish foreign minister, Poland and other countries would find themselves under threat if Russia invaded Ukraine.

Rau is on a visit to the US where he is scheduled to hold a series of meetings and share Poland's view on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.