Polish OSCE chairman says Ukraine will be his first foreign trip

The Polish foreign minister, who officially took up the role as the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Vienna on Thursday, has said that he will set off on his first foreign visit to Ukraine to review the situation in the eastern part of the country.

Zbigniew Rau told a press conference in Vienna that the protracted conflict in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine is one of the most dangerous crises in Europe.

"I intend to pay my first visit as OSCE chairman to Ukraine. And I certainly plan to visit the eastern part of the country to see what the situation is on site," he said and added that the situation of civilians who are affected by this armed conflict is one of his priorities.

The conflict in Donbas broke out after the victory of the pro-Western revolution in Kiev, which led to the overthrow of the then pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in early 2014. In the spring of that year, rebels supported by Russia declared two self-proclaimed republics in the region.

More than 13,000 people have died as a result of fighting that continues to this day.