“Russia will not win this war unless we let her,” declared Poland’s Foreign Minister, Radosław Sikorski, speaking at the London Defence Conference, as he warned of the consequences for Europe should Russia defeat Ukraine. 

Sikorski also cited the risks of another migrant crisis should Russia drive more refugees from Ukraine, and the consequences of Moscow’s ambitions to “replace the system of sovereign states with a concert of rogue powers making the rules as they go.”

Sikorski described Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine as “a brutal colonial war with far-reaching consequences.” Should Russia win, its victory, the Foreign Minister argued, would “embolden other countries”, citing China and Iran, “over their mutinous colonies.”

With adequate western assistance, “Ukraine will be able to hold its front lines and raise the cost of Russian aggression,” said Sikorski , who labelled the cost “relatively small”. After all, “we do not need to fight with our own soldiers.”

Following Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a general election and the indication in the polls of a Labour victory, Sikorski thanked John Healey and David Lammy for their recent visit to Kyiv and expressed his gratitude to the UK “for being a strong ally and generous supplier to Ukraine.”

At the end of his speech, Sikorski also offered an implicit criticism of the UK’s potential tilt to the Indo-Pacific to confront China. “You are an island but you are a European island,” he said, “You may have affairs elsewhere, but, to us, you are married.”

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