Zelensky hails Poland and Lithuania as Ukraine’s ‘great friends’ following presidential meeting in Kiev

In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, Polish President Andrzej Duda, left, and Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda, right, pose for a photo prior to their talks at The Mariinskyi Palace in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky showed his appreciation for the support offered to his country by Poland and Lithuania in the face of Russian aggression following a meeting between the countries’ presidents in Kiev on Wednesday.

Zelensky declared Poland’s Andrzej Duda and Lithuania’s Gitanas Nauseda great friends of Ukraine, and emphasized the importance of their presence in the Ukrainian capital during such a precarious and difficult time.

“The presidents of Poland and Lithuania arrived to support Ukraine in this difficult time. We appreciate this very much,” he told reporters, underlining that Poland and Lithuania are partners which have supported Ukraine both in words and in actions. He noted also that both countries have supplied Ukraine with military equipment and ammunition.

Zelensky highlighted that both Polish and Lithuanian diplomats have remained in Ukraine, which was an important signal of support for Ukrainian society, and stated his appreciation for the swift response by Warsaw towards Russia’s recognition of the self-proclaimed independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and the subsequent deployment of Russia troops to the areas.

“The response of the international community to Russia’s crime should be immediate, decisive and harsh,” he declared.

The president of Ukraine also stressed that pressure through sanctions from the United States, Europe and Canada should be intensified, and called for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to be halted entirely, as it had been used as a weapon not just against Ukraine, but against all of Europe.

Polish President Andrzej Duda assured that the three leaders were in constant contact and were consulting each other prior to the most important meetings and talks with the world’s leaders.

“In accordance with the rule of nothing about us, without us — nothing about Ukraine, without Ukraine,” Duda said.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda also took the opportunity to condemn Russia’s recognition of the two self-proclaimed republics.

“I will be clear — Luhansk and Donetsk are and will forever be a part of Ukraine. Lithuania will not acknowledge any attempts to violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity, just as we will not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea,” he stated.

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