Russia would like to take control of Ukraine: former ambassador

“First of all it is not a migrant crisis, it is just a kind of hybrid war with the use of imported migrants as a weapon. Secondly I believe (…) that everything is interconnected and it was carefully planned by Putin and his staff,” former ambassador of Poland to Ukraine Jan Piekło told TVP World’s Eastern Express, referring to the crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus.

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Click here to watch the full interview

The former ambassador said that the purpose of igniting this crisis is to test the eastern flank of NATO and to stop Ukraine from joining NATO.

“According to the sources from the American military intelligence and also local sources from Ukraine, the recent buildup of the Russian troops near the border (...) Russia would like to attack or destabilise the country to the extent that Ukraine will be a much easier ball to play for Moscow,” Mr Piekło emphasised.

He also mentioned that Russia is definitely making a psychological move on Ukraine, which has a very complicated situation with the illegal annexation of Crimea, a war going on in Donbass and most of all a 1,000 km shared border with Belarus which might be tested by the combined forces of Russia and Belarus.

The former ambassador was asked whether NATO would be able to help Ukraine if such an attack took place. He answered that it would be difficult because of the complicated decision process and the fact that Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

However, signing the document on military cooperation with the UK and the declaration of Sweden (which is not a NATO country) to send military instructors to Ukraine gives hope that having NATO officers on the ground would repel such an attack.

Jan Piekło also mentioned the recent actions of German chancellor Angela Merkel, calling Alyaksandr Lukashenka directly after the suggestion of the Russian President. He said that “It was just like following the distraction from the Kremlin” and recognising Lukashenka as “the legitimate President of Belarus”.

Concluding the interview, the ambassador said that the efforts from the West are not well coordinated. “Russia would like to take control of Ukraine,” and this concept is implemented slowly and at the moment unfortunately successfully.

Click here to watch the full episode of Eastern Express