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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Plane crash over Ukraine calls for int'l probe

President Bronisław Komorowski at the press conference after the meeting with the presidents

The presidents of nine East and Central European states who met in Warsaw Tuesday believe that the Malaysian plane crash should be probed by an international commission including all the states concerned, said President Bronislaw Komorowski after the meeting.


The presidents of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania came to Warsaw to discuss the NATO summit scheduled for Wales in September and the situation in Ukraine. They expressed deep sympathy for families of the crash victims.


They also demanded that all circumstances of the crash be explained by an international commission, including all the interested states and having full access to the site of the catastrophe, all evidence and witnesses. The commission must enjoy security of actions in the crash area.


The presidents also called for "an immediate and unconditional end to military operations of Russian separatists in Ukrainian territory," Komorowski reported.


"This dramatic incident highlights the dangers of adding armed violence, military-style aggression intended to undermine borders and territorial integrity (of a state) to political and economic pressure," the president opined. "This poses a new challenge that we must respond to in the NATO framework."


Komorowski pointed to "a breach of fundamental principles supporting the European architecture of security." "Russia's open violation of these principles requires firm and solidary reaction from the Western world, including NATO."


The NATO summit in Wales "should take account of changes (in the situation) caused by Russia's actions in NATO's eastern neighbourhood," Bronislaw Komorowski stressed.


The nine presidents of East and Central European states came out for NATO's permanent focusing on collective defence envisaged by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and for "strategic reinforcement of NATO's eastern flank."


This should be achieved through "visible presence of NATO troops in East-Central Europe, reform of NATO's rapid response forces (...) and expansion of allied infrastructure so that it is prepared to receive troops if contingency plans have to be put into life," Komorowski said. The plans should be continually updated.


The greatest challenge before NATO was to "adjust to the new security situation characterized by Russia's new mode of action and new kind of aggression that we witness in Russia-Ukraine relations," the president opined.


The Warsaw meeting demonstrated "a far-going convergence of views" giving hope that the nine presidents would speak with one voice or at least argue in the same vein during the NATO summit in September, Komorowski concluded.(PAP)


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