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I believe that Ukraine will prevail and win: President Duda in Kyiv

During his Tuesday visit to Kyiv at the invitation of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, which falls on the eve of Ukraine’s Independence Day, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda expressed his wholehearted belief that “Ukraine will not only defend itself but also win.” He felt that Ukraine “will retake the entirety of its territories occupied today by Russia, that Ukraine will rebuild itself also thanks to the support of Poland and all just states and nations, the states of Western Europe, the US and other democratic states.”

Ukraine, Ukrainians and Ukrainian authorities can count on Poland and Poles,” President Duda said during a joint press conference in Kyiv with his Ukrainian counterpart, adding that once Ukraine won the war “it will be all the more powerful and stronger, as well as more modern.”

President Duda said that his and the Polish delegation’s presence in Kyiv was to let Ukrainians know that Poles stand by their side and support them. “This is why I am here today with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, my Ukrainian brothers and friends, together with the entire Polish delegation,” he said, adding that a person who represents their nation and state must reckon with the “risks entailed by such a representation.”

Poles perfectly understand what is happening today and will be taking place tomorrow – here, in Ukraine,” he said, also referring to the National Flag Day falling on Tuesday and Independence Day following on Wednesday.

Today, Ukraine is fighting, today Ukraine is defending its independence… integrity and the entirety of its state against the Russian aggression that did not begin on February 24 but, in reality, in 2014, when Russia assaulted Ukraine for the first time, initiating the de facto occupation of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, and the Russian occupation of Crimea,” he said.

The Polish head of state expressed admiration and respect for the Ukrainian nation “for its outstanding heroism with which it is defending its homeland”.

I want that [Ukranians] be assured that Poland and Poles stand by their side and will continue to support them until the last day of their struggle,” he said, adding that “in Poland, we deeply believe that this will be a victorious struggle.”

He went on to say that Ukraine was defending not only its own freedom and independence but also the freedom and independence of other European states, if not of the whole of Europe.

During his visit to Kyiv, President Duda took part in the unveiling of the Walk of Leaders which commemorates those leaders who have descended on Ukraine during the war to show support to the country. The first plaque to be embedded was dedicated to Poland.

W Kijowie powstała aleja ku czci przywódców, którzy odwiedzili Ukrainę w czasie wojny. Jako pierwsza została odsłonięta tablica Prezydenta @AndrzejDuda.

— Kancelaria Prezydenta (@prezydentpl) August 23, 2022

Talks with President Duda “very fruitful”, Zelenskyy said

For his part, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Tuesday talks with President Duda were very fruitful. “We discussed a whole range of topics… Clearly enough, we talked about [Ukraine’s] defence, and supporting our Ukrainians in Poland,” he said. “I am very grateful to you and the [Polish] government, the First Lady and the whole of Poland, which so warmly perceives Ukrainians,” he added turning to President Duda.

“It is crucial, that we are friends and that friends are together on this symbolic day,” President Zelenskyy said.

The Ukrainian official went on to say that his talk with President Duda revolved around Ukraine’s security matters and Polish support for the country.

Mutual business interests

On the topic of bilateral cooperation, President Duda said that “Poland wants to do business with Ukraine”.

“Ukraine is a huge country, nearly twice as large as our country… But first and foremost, it is a country of staggering opportunities, grand prospects, and one enjoying enormous natural resources. With this said, Ukraine is a country that Poland simply wants to do business with,” Presiden Duda said.

He went on to add that “in times abounding with various international issues touching, among others, energy markets, the Polish-Ukrainian cooperation can be outstandingly measurable and profitable for both of our countries.”

President Duda arrived in Kyiv by train on Tuesday morning. He was greeted by officials on the platform, including Poland’s Ambassador to Ukraine Andrzej Cichocki.

��Przystanek Kijów
Rozpoczęła się kolejna wizyta Prezydenta RP @AndrzejDuda na Ukrainie.

— Kancelaria Prezydenta (@prezydentpl) August 23, 2022

Crimea Platform Summit

President Duda will partake in the second summit of the Crimea Platform – a diplomatic initiative of Ukraine and its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, designed to be an international coordination mechanism to reverse the 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

The protection of the human rights of Crimean Tatars, environmental degradation and the stifling of trade in the Black and Azov Sea region will also be discussed at the summit. The inaugural summit of the platform took place on August 23, 2021, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. President Andrzej Duda participated also in the initiative’s inauguration.

This visit of President Andrzej Duda to Ukraine is the official’s fifth this year. It is also the third meeting between Presidents Duda and Zelenskyy since Russia launched its invasion.

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