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Kremlin Dismisses Sikorksi's Claim About Putin’s Plan to Divide Ukraine

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Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov on Thursday dismissed Polish Sejm speaker Radoslaw Sikorksi's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about his plans to split up Ukraine during his 2008 talks with then Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

SOCHI, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov on Thursday dismissed Polish Sejm speaker Radoslaw Sikorksi's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about his plans to split up Ukraine during his 2008 talks with then Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Ivanov told journalists this was not the first attempt to discredit the Russian foreign policy, and accused the West of waging an information war against Russia.

"Distortion of facts… statements that are for the most part nothing but lies, like the latest claim by Mr. Sikorksi and allegations made by politicians about nuclear weapons and arms that could pierce through any armor, are a clinical case that's long past the treatment phase," the Kremlin official said.

An interview with Radoslaw Sikorski in the Politico Magazine made a splash on October 19 after the former Polish foreign minister revealed that President Putin allegedly invited Prime Minister Tusk to partition Ukraine, which he reportedly described as an "artificial state." According to Sikorski, it was one of the first things Putin said to then Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk during his visit to Moscow in 2008.

Two days later, Sikorski backtracked on this allegation, saying on Twitter that his words had been misinterpreted. On the same day, he admitted at a briefing in the Sejm he was not present at the Putin-Tusk meeting in Moscow in 2008. He also said Poland had no recordings of the talks.

Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich criticized Sikorksi for making ill-conceived remarks before considering the facts.

"Before commenting on such sensitive topics, one should study all the facts and then speak to the press, instead of using mass media as a mouthpiece for this kind of allegations," Lukashevich said.

Following the incident, Polish Sejm deputy Andrzej Rozenek said lawmakers had asked Sikorksi to explain his comment on Ukraine's partition.

"We would like to hear an explanation from speaker Sikorski and Foreign Minister Schetyna," Rozenek told Rossiya Segodnya.

Rozenek added he could not understand why Sikorski went public with the information, calling the move "illogical".

"At the moment, we are not sure if this information is true and not an irresponsible and mindless joke," he added.

Tags:
Vladimir Putin, Poland, information warfare, Sergei Ivanov, Radoslaw Sikorski
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