Sanctions needed if Russia annexes parts of Ukraine says foreign min
If Russia chooses to annex regions of Ukraine it currently occupies, the West should respond with a new round of sanctions, the Polish foreign minister said in Washington on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Russia began what the West calls 'mock' referenda in the occupied regions of Ukraine as a prelude to their potential annexation, a move similar to the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Russia's potential move was one of the subjects discussed on Thursday by Zbigniew Rau, the Polish foreign minister, and Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives.
Commenting on what the West should do if Moscow takes yet another step forward, Rau said: "Absolutely, there will be further sanctions because it will be yet another act of international lawlessness which the international community cannot agree to."
He thanked Pelosi for the US leadership in times "when the security architecture has collapsed owing to Russia's aggression against Ukraine."
According to Rau, Pelosi "praised Poland for its resolve in opposing the Russian aggression against Ukraine."
Poland's foreign minister said that he and Pelosi also discussed an energy crisis that Western Europe may face during winter, including Poland's energy security, and how this can lead some EU leaders to pressure Ukraine to start negotiations with Russia.