Polish president Andrzej Duda criticized French and German leaders for conducting phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with the German tabloid Bild. Duda made no secret of his confusion about the initiatives of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, who have held frequent talks with Putin regarding the war in Ukraine over the phone.
“Those talks do not lead to anything,” said Duda, adding that they legitimize Putin, who is responsible for the Russian army’s crimes in Ukraine.
“He made the decision to send troops there. Those giving orders are under Vladimir Putin’s authority,” stressed Duda.
“Did anyone speak to Adolf Hitler during World War II? Did anyone say that Adolf Hitler must save face? That we should proceed in a way that is not humiliating for Adolf Hitler? I have not heard about such voices,” said Duda.
The Polish president indicated that no agreements should be made “without the Ukrainian government.” “No agreement can proceed to which the Ukrainian government does not agree,” Duda said, also adding that he is in favor of restoring the borders of Ukraine that have been recognized by the international community.
Duda emphasized the “fundamental meaning of the defense of Ukraine” and the need to help Ukraine by all means possible in the hope of breaking “Russian imperialism.”
The Polish president also listed the weapons that Poland has already delivered to Ukraine.
“In total, we sent weapons worth $2 billion. This is an enormous cost, but we understand the need,” said Duda.
When asked about a recent statement made by Scholz that no one is delivering military aid to Ukraine on a scale that Germany is, Duda stressed that he “does not want to verify the authenticity of the German chancellor’s statement.”
“Surely he has relevant data,” he said, adding that German politicians and media, who have access to public data, can verify the statement. “If Germany really is helping on such a scale, then as a direct neighbor, I can only say that I am very grateful for it,” added Duda.
According to Duda, claims that Poland demanded the most modern Leopard 2 tanks from Germany in exchange for Soviet-era tanks delivered to Ukraine are false.
“For us, it is obvious that for old soviet tanks, 240 of which we delivered to Ukraine, we will receive some Leopard tanks, but not the most modern ones. Since we have older Leopard models in Poland, we wanted to slightly replenish our stockpiles,” said Duda.
He added that older models can be upgraded with the help of German industry.
“We were assuming that we will get tanks that are older models. As far as I know, we did not receive anything,” explained Duda.