Given the perilous moments that Europe is going through as Russia invades, at the behest of President Vladimir Putin, Ukraine, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda addressed the nation, stressing that “Poland will continue to stand in solidarity with Ukraine”.
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“On today’s morning, Russian forces launched an armed invasion on our neighbour — independent, sovereign Ukraine. By the decision of Putin, war has been started in Europe, entailing innumerable tragedies, death and destruction” the President said.
“Our Ukrainian neighbours are going through the hardest trial risking their own lives — a trial, whose stake is the independence of their state. They are protecting not just their own freedom but the freedom of us all — Europeans,” Poland’s head of state stressed.
“The can count on Poland’s full support. As Poland we were, we are, and we will continue to stand in solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation,” the President said, adding that the Russian aggression on Ukraine “is a turning point for the whole of our Western community.”
Yesterday Georgia, today Ukraine…
He said that many western leaders had been mistaken to think that one can parlay with Putin and Russia. “Poland has been warning against such a stance many times,” President Duda recalled.
In this context, President Duda recalled the prophetic words of late Polish President Lech Kaczyński, the words that he uttered in Tbilisi in 2008 when Russian forces were approaching the Georgian capital in a similar armed attempt to suppress a free nation. “ Today Georgia, tomorrow Ukraine, the day after the Baltic States and then perhaps my country — Poland,” President Duda quoted Lech Kaczyński’s words describing the expansionary politics of Putin.
“Unfortunately, no lessons were learnt and newer and newer tragedies take place,” President Duda said, adding that it was why “a unanimous and decisive stance towards Russia of the entire Western community is necessary.”
We must respond to Russia’s aggression with all severity, the President said in his address, adding that very harsh sanctions that would strike all of the aggressor’s branches of the economy were needed.
“We must not be divided these days… Unity, unity and once again unity,” the President called.
Poland ready to protect its borders and NATO allies
The President stressed that Poland was in full readiness to protect its borders and in constant contact with its NATO allies. NATO “is united to ensure security to all of its members,” President Duda said,
The head of the Polish state stressed that in this time of threat, the importance of the transatlantic relations and the US military presence in Europe became all the more pronounced.
Poland must be ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees
Highlighting the prospects of humanitarian approach and action that awaits Poland, the President stressed that “we must be ready to welcome many refugees from Ukraine, people who will be looking, in our country, for shelter against the war. I am convinced that we will show them solidarity and provide them with all the necessary help.”
Long live Ukraine, long live Poland!
“We have been showing many times that in dire moments we can live up to the challenge because that is what we are as a nation,” the President said, adding that “this difficult moment requires from all of us, especially politicians and the media, a great deal of responsibility. We are and will continue to be targets for Russian disinformation. Let us not be divided and misled.”
“The future of the free world depends on how we respond to evil,” he asserted.
“It is today, that we answer ourselves the pivotal question: do the values that we all enshrine, freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, solidarity, do they truly mean anything at all or are they just lofty slogans? For us Poles, they are the foundation,” the official said.
Ending his address, President Andrzej Duda saluted Ukraine and Poland, saying: “Long live free, independent and democratic Ukraine! Long live Poland!”