Polens president Bronislaw Komorowski ber europeerne være klar over hva Vladimir Putin er ute etter: En gjenreisning av det russiske imperiet. Det er kosakk-imperialisme han står for. Vil europeerne ha en slik fremtid, eller ønsker de demokrati? I så fall må de være villig til å forsvare det.

Komorwski kom med sin advarsel i et intervju med tysk radio som ble sendt lørdag:

«Russia has carried out an invasion in Ukraine,» the Polish head of state told German public radio, according to excerpts of an interview to be broadcast later on Saturday.

Komorowski said Putin was quite open about his ambitions to «rebuild the empire». The Cossacks long served Russian czars in military and security roles on the borders of the empire and their brand of Russian Orthodox patriotism is admired by Putin.

The Polish president, whose post is largely ceremonial but does give him a say in foreign policy, is an ally of Prime Minister Donald Tusk from the centrist Civic Platform (PO).

«I hope Germans are sufficiently mindful of what a Soviet empire meant for Europe,» Komorowski told Deutschlandradio Kultur and Deutschlandfunk, warning against any reprise of the pre-World War Two «appeasement policy of yielding to Hitler».

«First the challenge was Crimea, now it is about further regions of Ukraine and everyone is asking where it will end,» he said, reiterating a call from Poland and the Baltic states in particular for NATO’s eastern flank to be reinforced.