Poland Tells Zelensky It's Seeking Armed NATO 'Peace Mission' For Ukraine

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Mar 16, 2022 - 01:45 PM

Authored by Will Porter via The Libertarian Institute,

Poland’s deputy prime minister and the head of the country’s ruling party has urged for a "peace mission" in Ukraine led by the NATO bloc, proposing an operation geared toward humanitarian aid but backed up by "armed forces."

Jarosław Kaczyński – deputy PM, leader of the Law and Justice Party and a top decision-maker in Warsaw – made the suggestion during a sit-down with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on Tuesday. "I think that it is necessary to have a peace mission – NATO, possibly some wider international structure – but a mission that will be able to defend itself, which will operate on Ukrainian territory," Kaczynski told reporters after the meeting, which was also attended by officials from fellow NATO states Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

"It will be a mission that will strive for peace, to give humanitarian aid, but at the same time it will also be protected by appropriate forces, armed forces," Kaczyński added.

Zelensky offered little elaboration on the plan during a press conference, instead stating that the officials discussed "security guarantees" and strengthening sanctions on Russia, as well as the prospects for Ukrainian membership in the European Union. 

During a virtual meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson later on Tuesday, the president suggested other forms of regional partnership outside of the NATO bloc, requesting additional arms and military aid from London.

"We need new formats of interaction," Zelensky said. "And if we cannot enter NATO’s ‘open door,’ then we must work with communities available, communities that will help us. Like yours [the United Kingdom]."

"Therefore, I ask you: help yourself by helping us. You know what weapons we need. You know what means of protection we need. You know we crucially need airplanes. It would be extremely difficult for us without your efforts. I am grateful to you. But understand – we need more."

Zelensky spoke before US lawmakers on Wednesday, and also addressed the Canadian parliament on Tuesday, reiterating a request for a no-fly zone over Ukraine – an ask Western nations have been hesitant to meet over concerns it could kick off another world war.

The comments come as Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, is under siege by Russian forces following an invasion in late February. Local officials claim at least five were killed in shelling on Tuesday, as the city enters a new 35-hour curfew amid a bout of martial law imposed at the beginning of Moscow’s assault.

As of Tuesday, the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says it has recorded 691 civilian casualties in the fighting, among them 48 children, as well as 1,143 injured. Most of the deaths have been inflicted by "explosive weapons with a wide impact area" such as artillery and rockets, the body said, adding that the bulk of casualties have occurred in government-controlled territory, though 39 have been killed and another 130 wounded in the Donetsk and Luhansk break-away republics.