Europe at greatest risk of war in 30 years: Poland’s foreign minister Zbigniew Rau

In a statement Polish foreign minister Zbigniew Rau warned, Europe is closer to war than it has been in the last 30 years.

The warning comes at a time after a third round of diplomacy aimed at defusing tensions over Russian demand that Ukraine be disallowed to join NATO.

Addressing envoys from the 57 members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Rau listed a string of conflicts in which involving Russia but did not name it.

“It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever before in the last 30 years,” said Rau in a speech outlining Poland’s priorities as it holds the OSCE’s rotating chairmanship this year. “For several weeks we have been faced with the prospect of a major military escalation in Eastern Europe.”

Poland is one of the NATO members that has been the most hawkish in trying to contain Russia’s revisionist ambitions in Eastern Europe.

“We should focus on a peaceful resolution of the conflict in and around Ukraine,” said Rau while calling for “full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders”.

On Thursday, diplomatic talks were held in Vienna marking the first time when Ukraine was represented; these were ambassadorial level talks. Ministerial talks between Russia and the U.S. in Geneva on Tuesday and between Russia and NATO in Brussels on Wednesday failed to yield clear progress.

On Thursday, Russia provided a bleak assessment of its security talks with the US and NATO describing them as “unsuccessful” and saying there was disagreement on fundamental issues.

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