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Putin ally accuses Poland of plans to “seize” western Ukraine

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Warsaw, Poland – A top Russian official has accused Poland and other European nations of plotting to “seize” some Ukrainian territories as the country continues to fight off Moscow’s invasion.

“The so-called Western partners of the Kyiv regime are also not opposed to taking advantage of the current situation for their own selfish interests and have special plans for Ukrainian lands,” Nikolai Patrushev, head of Russia’s Security Council, said earlier this week.

“Apparently, Poland is already making moves to seize western Ukrainian territories,” he added, evidently referring to Ukrainian regions that were part of Poland before the Second World War.

During a visit to Kyiv at the end of May, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky announced a “historic” agreement to establish a joint customs border control.

“This will significantly speed up procedures at the border. It will also remove most of the corruption risks. But it is also the beginning of our integration into the common customs space of the European Union,” Zelensky commented.

“The Polish Ukrainian-border should unite, not divide,” Duda said in reference to the landmark deal, a statement quoted by Patrushev this week to claim Poland was moving to annex western parts of Ukraine.

This is not the first time that a Russian official has taken aim at Poland, which has emerged as a key political and military ally of Ukraine, on top of welcoming more than 3,5 million war refugees since the beginning of the invasion.

Close allies of President Vladimir Putin, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in a video released last week, explicitly threatened Warsaw, and said the country would be next after Ukraine.

Some officials in Warsaw have also argued that should Russia succeed in Ukraine, Poland would likely be next in Putin’s invasion plans.

As a NATO member, any direct military action against Poland would be considered an attack against all NATO countries, including the United States, according to the Alliance’s founding treaty.