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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

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  • 14 November 2017

    European Union pressure on Russia is needed so that it does not influence the further development of the Georgian conflict, the foreign ministers of Poland and Sweden, Witold Waszczykowski and Margot Wallstroem, agreed on Tuesday.

     

    Ministers Waszczykowski and Wallstroem, who are in Georgia on Tuesday, visited Odzisi in the afternoon, where the borderline with South Ossetia runs.
     

    "This is a very strange situation, in the middle of Europe we have triple lines of division and demarcation, which look like the border of North and South Korea. This is an unacceptable situation,” the head of Polish diplomacy said at the press conference in the vicinity of the checkpoint in Odzisi.

     
    "We are willing to do whatever it takes to get both sides to work together and find a way to resolve this conflict," he added.


    The head of Polish diplomacy admitted that the issue of the disputed Georgian regions "definitely influences" the European perspective of the country. 


    "The situation of border instability, with borders that are not recognized by the international community, is a problem not only for the EU but also for NATO. Perhaps this is precisely the reason why Russia is trying to provoke such conflicts: to prevent countries such as Georgia and Ukraine from joining the EU and NATO,” he said.

     
    Asked how he thinks it is possible to stop the "freezing" of the Georgian conflict, Minister Waszczykowski pointed to the activity of the EU observation mission, which he said not only monitors but also prevents new incidents on border lines between Georgia and South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
     

    "But there is also the need for political pressure on Russia not to influence the further development of this conflict," he added.
     

    In turn, Minister Wallstroem argued that EU policy should address two issues.


    "On the one hand we have to be consistent in how we respond to events like the illegal annexation of the Crimea or aggression in eastern Ukraine - and we are doing so, keeping the sanctions regime as long as the situation does not change," the Swedish minister said. 
     

    On the other hand, she said, “it is necessary to engage Russia in a long-term dialogue "to ensure that contacts are maintained at the interpersonal level ... and that political and diplomatic channels in relations with Russia remain open." 


    "This is in our long-term interests and in the interests of our security," she said, warning that in practice "it's not always easy."
     

    Minister Waszczykowski was also asked what action could be taken on the Georgian conflict by Poland in connection with it becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2018-19. 


    The minister replied that "it depends on the Georgians". "If they want to raise any issues on the Council agenda, we can certainly support them," he added.
     

    Earlier, the ministers also visited the headquarters of the EU field monitoring mission in Mtskheta, which since 2008 has monitored whether the peace agreement between Georgia and Russia is being abided to. There they met with the Acting Head of Mission Erik Hoeeg and Poles and Swedes serving in the mission.
     

    The visit will be concluded by a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Poland and Sweden with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

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