Zelensky’s visit to Poland – key takeaways

April 6,2023 1271
Zelensky’s visit to Poland – key takeaways

The Ukrainian president’s one-day eventful visit to Poland on Wednesday culminated in a public appearance of two presidents, Andrzej Duda and Volodymyr Zelensky, in the courtyard of the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The two leaders delivered very inspiring speeches full of powerful messages.

“It was a super important visit, a turning point for both sides. Key issues were discussed, such as the provision of aircraft to Ukraine and the development of railway connections, as well as important interstate issues that will not be brought to the public,” said the head of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland, Myroslav Skirka. He also shared his impressions of the two presidents’ speeches in the Royal Castle courtyard, calling them “the most impressive speeches of the heads of state, which will determine the future of Ukrainian-Polish relations.”

“Ukraine has shown the whole world that it is capable of standing up to a neighboring superpower, a state much larger, theoretically much more powerful than it […] But there is still a long way to go before this war is resolved and ended. Ukraine needs support, it needs further supplies of modern armaments,” Duda said.

“Poland was and is one of the leaders of this support. We know perfectly well that whoever defends his home, his homeland, his towns and villages, and his citizens needs help immediately. And there’s no time to wait. That is why we are trying to provide fighting Ukraine with everything it needs as soon as possible: tanks, armored personnel carriers, gun-howitzers, and finally, in recent days, also planes. We set an example to other countries, and sometimes we break their stubbornness and resistance in the matter of arms supplies.

“We know that today you are fighting not only for your independence but also for the security of the whole of Europe. We, Poles, remember very well what it means to fight ‘for our freedom and yours,’” said the Polish president.

“There is no longer such a force that would prevail over the Ukrainian and Polish brotherhood,” said the president of Ukraine. “Every successful battle of Ukrainian heroes for our independent state adds protection to Polish independence. Polish [self-propelled gun-howitzers] Krabs and [air-defense systems] Pioruns in the hands of Ukrainians, who return freedom to our people, add strength to your freedom as well.”

“Never again will there be Russia on this glorious square and any other Polish square, as well as on all Ukrainian Maidans – after our victory,” Zelensky added.

He quoted Polish writer Jerzy Giedroyc who had said that “there is no independent Poland without an independent Ukraine.” “And I would continue. Russia cannot prevail over Europe when a Ukrainian and a Pole stand shoulder to shoulder,” Zelensky said.

The visit began with a ceremony in which Duda awarded Zelensky the Order of White Eagle – Poland’s oldest and most valuable state decoration.

The two presidents then met both in private and in n extended format to discuss strengthening the Ukrainian army, the return of Ukrainian children illegally deported by Russia and support for Ukraine in acquiring membership in the EU and NATO. Poland’s participation in rebuilding Ukraine and other topics of interest for the two states were also discussed.

Zelensky also met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. They sighed a Letter of Intent to cooperate in the supply of defense equipment, namely procurement by Ukraine of Rosomak armored personnel vehicles, Rak self-propelled gun-mortars and missiles for the Piorun systems.

The president and prime minister also discussed establishing joint ventures to produce weapons and ammunition.

At the Polish Parliament, the Ukrainian President thanked Marshal of the Sejm Elżbieta Witek and Marshal of the Senat Tomasz Grodzki for the parliament’s clear and active position in support of Ukraine and unwavering support for Ukraine’s EU membership.

Zelensky, accompanied by Morawiecki, also had a meeting with the mayors of Rzeszów, Przemyśl, Lublin and Chełm and awarded them with a “Rescuer City” sign for the “unprecedented support given to Ukrainians in the most difficult period, when millions of our citizens were forced to seek refuge from the war.”

Sources: Official websites of the President of Poland and the President of Ukraine

In Ukrainian:

In Polish:

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