In the Thursday address to the nation President Andrzej Duda said that Vladimir Putin wanted to rebuild the Russian empire by starting a war in Ukraine but failed. “He was stopped by the heroism of Ukrainian soldiers and society, he was stopped by the attitude of Poland and other countries supporting Ukraine,” emphasized President Duda.
In the address on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Duda pointed out that the Kremlin planned to divide the world and permanently make Europe dependent on its resources.
“Today, after a year of the war, we know that Russians failed. The Western world stands united. The importance of NATO has increased, and more countries are joining the Alliance. Europe is finally ending its dependence on Russian oil and gas,” Duda said.
He stated that the invasion of Ukraine is a failure for Putin, as Russian troops did not achieve any of their strategic goals. Duda noted that such outcome would not be possible without the strong leadership of the United States. He also mentioned strong Poland’s support for Ukraine and Ukrainians.
“Poland is a leader in aid for Ukraine, both military and humanitarian. That is why we are the target of organized, cynical Russian propaganda and disinformation,” said President.
He strongly declared that there is “no going back to business as usual with Russia.”
“For a lasting peace, Ukraine must win, and for it to have a chance, the unity of the entire free world is needed. Russia has not yet lost, and Ukraine has not yet won. We know very well that the road to this victory is still long. And it will be paid for with great effort and sacrifices. But there is no other way,” said Duda.
He stressed that any attempts to rebuild relationships with Russia behind Ukraine’s back would be short-sighted and may lead to an even greater tragedy in the future.
“Over the past year, during meetings with world leaders, I have been seeking support for the fighting Ukraine, which is extremely important for the security of Poland and our entire region,” Duda noted.
He added that Poland’s diplomatic offensive in recent days has been successful.
“My meetings with the NATO’s Secretary General, the King and PM of Great Britain, the President of France, the Chancellor of Germany, the PM of Italy as well as the leaders of NATO’s eastern flank countries strengthen our alliances. Poland is safe,” the president declared.
He also mentioned the recent visit of the U.S. President Joe Biden in Poland.
“The United States is a guarantee of security on the old continent. I agree with President Biden – Poland needs America, and America needs Poland,” said Duda.
President appeals for support for Ukraine
“Ukraine still needs great support from the free world. Poland, the country of Solidarity, appeals to the world: be in solidarity with Ukraine,” said President Duda.
“Dear compatriots, Poland is a country of Solidarity, a great movement that united people, that changed the recent history of the world, that contributed to the fall of communism. We are proud of this,” said Duda reminding that after the outbreak of war, Poland showed great solidarity with Ukrainians.
“We opened our hearts and our homes to our neighbors. There have been no refugee camps in Poland. We have welcomed our guests in our homes. As a nation, we behaved as we should. Once again, I would like to thank all Poles with all my heart,” Duda said.
He also noted that Ukraine “still needs great support from the entire free world, as it fights for its freedom.”
“We know that the consequences of this war affect us all, but we remember that it is the Ukrainian nation that pays the highest price for freedom – the price of life,” President Duda said.