Polish President Andrzej Duda continued his diplomatic offensive in advance of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Warsaw, which is to take place on Tuesday. Duda’s meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London concentrated mainly on the war in Ukraine and issues associated with it, such as defense and energy security.
At the end of the meeting at Downing Street, the Polish president briefed the media on his discussion with Sunak. It was the first meeting between the two men and Duda stressed that it came just before the Bucharest Nine (B9) summit of NATO’s eastern frontline states in Warsaw where Biden will be present.
Poland’s president said that he had also invited Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, as the summit will be an important milestone on the road to preparing the NATO summit due to take place in Vilnius in the summer.
Duda said that he thanked the British prime minister for his work lobbying for a coalition to deliver tanks to Ukraine. He noted that although Britain does not use Leopard tanks, it had committed itself to delivering its Challenger tanks to Ukraine. This was also an important contribution to the defense of Ukraine, as these are very modern tanks, added Duda.
The Polish head of state also expressed the hope that Britain would be active in Ukraine’s reconstruction after the war and stressed that Poland, as a key state in assisting and communicating with Ukraine, set great store on participating fully in this reconstruction.
Duda was non-committal over whether the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky might also visit Warsaw next week to meet with him and Biden. He said that it was a matter for the Ukrainian president and would depend on the situation on the ground in Ukraine.