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As Tensions Heighten, Ukraine and Poland Seek Closer Defence Ties to the UK  

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The ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine has resulted in Ukraine and Poland seeking closer defence ties to the UK. This desire for closer cooperation has now become codified in a new security pact between the two eastern European countries and the UK, announced on 17 February 2022. According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, the agreement seeks to deepen ties between the three countries in vital areas of national defence, primarily “in matters of cyber security, energy security and countering disinformation.” Further details of what the security pact entails are expected soon, as the three countries are expected to publish a “yet-to-be-developed memorandum of understanding” in the coming days.

The announcement of the pact coincided with the visit of the UK’s foreign secretary, Liz Truss, to Kyiv, where she further promised that her government would support Ukraine in its current struggle, for instance, by “providing anti-tank weapons to [Ukraine’s] military in an effort to deter a Russian armour offensive.”

The threat of aggression continues to haunt the Ukrainian government in Kyiv. Although Russian officials continually maintain that they have no active plans to violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and further point to their sovereign right to deploy troops within their own territory. US officials, particularly President Joe Biden, insist that the Russian military is posing an imminent threat.

In the last couple of days, the crisis in the region has further escalated. This escalation has occurred both rhetorically, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced concerns regarding a supposed “genocide” in the Donbas and materially, as Russian separatists “reportedly started shelling positions along the front line with Ukraine-controlled territory.”

Unfortunately, a temporary easing of tensions in the region seems unlikely. The two parties have come to a deadlock in their negotiations. Russia, in addition to its demand that the US should “pull its troops out of eastern NATO nations,” now also requests the cancellation of all Western military aid to Ukraine and the withdrawal of already delivered items. US and NATO officials have dubbed this request as “unrealistic” and have reminded their Russian counterparts that Ukraine and other neighbours “have a right to make their own security decisions.” In response, Russian officials have warned that a denial of their request would put an end to any discussions of “missile deployment limitations in Europe.”

Written by Johannes Krause


Sprenger, Sebastian. ‘Ukraine, UK, Poland announce security pact amid
heightened tensions,’ Defense News. (2022) [online] Available at:[Accessed 18 February, 2022].