Polish ex-minister quoted saying Putin offered to divide Ukraine with Poland

Comments will heighten tensions between Poland and Russia, already at odds over the Ukrainian crisis and Poland’s arrest of two men suspected of spying for Moscow

Poland’s parliamentary speaker, Radoslaw Sikorski, has been quoted as saying that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, proposed to Poland’s then leader in 2008 that they divide Ukraine between themselves.

Mr Sikorski, who until September served as Poland’s foreign minister, was quoted telling American website Politico that Mr Putin made the proposal during a visit by Donald Tusk, then Polish prime minister, to Moscow in 2008 – although he later said some of the interview had been “overinterpreted”.

“He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine … This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, when he visited Moscow,” he was quoted as saying in the interview.

“He (Putin) went on to say Ukraine is an artificial country and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don’t we just sort it out together,” Mr Sikorski was quoted as saying.

Before World War Two, Poland’s territory included parts of today’s western Ukraine, including some major cities such as Lwow, known as Lviv in Ukraine.

Mr Sikorski, who accompanied the prime minister on his trip to Moscow, reportedly said Mr Tusk did not reply to the suggestion, because he knew he was being recorded, but Poland never expressed any interest in joining the Russian operation.

“We made it very, very clear to them – we wanted nothing to do with this,” Mr Sikorski was quoted as saying.

Full article: Polish ex-minister quoted saying Putin offered to divide Ukraine with Poland (The Telegraph)

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