Sikorski arrived in Iran on Friday night for what was meant to be a three-day visit – and the first visit to Iran by a Polish foreign minister in 10 years.
Sikorski was one of the three European foreign ministers who mediated between former Ukrainian president Yanukovich and the opposition to form a transitional government of national unity before Yanukovich fled the country. He has in the past warned Russia not to violate the terms of 1994 Budapest Accord, signed by Russia, U.S. and UK, guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Ukraine in lieu of Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapon stockpile.
The Crimea came under control of the Russian military a week after the Kiev uprising. The new Ukrainian government of acting President Oleksandr Turchynov and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called the Russian military intervention an act of aggression and violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
But Russian officials have said they were not violating Ukrainian territorial integrity, only guaranteeing security for Russian citizens in the area, and President Vladimir Putin today added that he had ordered Russian government “to consult with other nations as well as the International Monetary Fund on means of financial assistance for Ukraine.” Putin also said that efforts “to maintain and promote trade between Russia and Ukraine” should continue. (Washington Post, 1 March)
UPDATE: The Russian parliament on Saturday approved military invasion of Crimea.
File photo: Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (AFP)