Poland: Stronger Ukraine army can decrease conflict, serve Europe's interests

Strengthening Ukraine's army and supplying it with weapons could prevent an escalation of the conflict and would serve Europe's interests, a top Polish security official said Thursday.

Stanislaw Koziej, the head of Poland's National Security Office, met with Oleksandr Turchynov, the chairman of the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council, to discuss cooperation between the neighboring countries.

He said they agreed that it would be in the "interest of Europe, of Poland and of Ukraine to strengthen Ukraine's army and to supply it with weapons." He did not specify what kind of weapons might be supplied.

"The stronger the Ukrainian army," Koziej said, "the greater chance for putting a halt to the escalation of the conflict."

Poland has offered Ukraine non-lethal military supplies like food, first aid kits, blankets and helmets. And it is to help train Ukrainian troops, who have been fighting Russia-backed separatists since April. So far, Poland's government has indicated it would not supply weapons to Ukraine, but said Kiev was free to make commercial purchases from Polish arms producers.

The U.S. administration is considering whether to give Ukraine weapons to help it fight the Russian-backed rebels.

Turchynov also met with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak and Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna during his two-day visit.