Polish president: I oppose any concessions to Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, Poland's President Andrzej Duda, left, and Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda pose for a photo before their meeting. Dec. 20, 2021. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
4 Min Read

Polish President Andrzej Duda has unequivocally rejected the notion that he is soft on Russian acts of aggression, using the first leaders’ summit of the Lublin Triangle on Monday to call for the nation to withdraw from its activity in Ukraine.

Meeting with his Lithuanian and Ukrainian counterparts in the town of Huta, Ukraine on Monday, the trio spoke about the issue of the region’s security and expressed support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s recent actions.

The presidents also signed a joint declaration, first set out on Dec. 2, to mark the 30th anniversary of Poland and Lithuania recognizing Ukrainian independence.

Poland’s problem at the border

Duda claimed that the countries were dealing with two crises in the areas surrounding them; the first being the border crisis orchestrated by the Belarusian government, but supported by Moscow.

He labeled the crisis a migrant assault on the Polish border, which had been resisted by the nation’s armed forces. Although this attack was stopped during its culmination point, Duda emphasized that the problem still lingered and stressed that it was also a Lithuanian problem due to migrants being gathered on Lithuania’s border.

Russian military threat

“The second issue is purely Russian and concerns the actions undertaken by Russia in recent weeks, such as the intensification of military presence near the Russian-Ukrainian and Polish-Belarusian borders. All of these events are extremely worrying to both us and our NATO allies,” Duda said.

The Polish president stressed that Ukraine’s security was a fundamental issue and that it was crucial for neighboring countries to prevent any attack from being conducted against Ukraine.

“I am an absolute opponent of any sort of policy of concession towards Russia. In my opinion, it is Russia who should withdraw from the activities which it has undertaken in the last few years,” he declared, claiming that Russia had returned to its imperial policy and calling for the nation to withdraw from its continuous acts of aggression.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized that he wanted his country to not be treated as an object and problem, but rather as a strategic partner.

“This is exactly the image of Ukraine that should be taken into account throughout the world. We want to become a modern, dynamic subject on the international arena and not a passive object of activity,” he said, adding that the trilateral meeting between Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine proved a “unity of vision.”

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda underlined that the three countries were united by “common heritage, the fight for freedom and a common future to form democracy in such a way, so that we can live in a stable neighborhood.”

He also thanked the Polish and Ukrainian presidents for helping Lithuania in resolving the migration issue.

The Lublin Triangle is a format of trilateral cooperation between Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine founded in 2020. Its aim is to deepen political, economic and social cooperation, as well as to support Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic ambitions.

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