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Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian presidents warn of 'ongoing Russian aggression'

20.12.2021 18:00
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda on Monday issued a joint declaration with his counterparts from Lithuania and Ukraine, expressing their solidarity in the face of "ongoing Russian aggression."
  • Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian presidents warn of 'ongoing Russian aggression'
Polish President Andrzej Duda (L), Ukraines Volodymyr Zelensky (centre) and Lithuanias Gitanas Nausda (R) meet with reporters after their talks in the Ukrainian town of Huta on Monday.
Polish President Andrzej Duda (L), Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky (centre) and Lithuania's Gitanas Nausėda (R) meet with reporters after their talks in the Ukrainian town of Huta on Monday.PAP/EPA

The three heads of state adopted the declaration at a three-way meeting held as part of the so-called Lublin Triangle in Huta in western Ukraine's Carpathian Mountains.

The document marks 30 years since Poland and Lithuania recognised the restoration of Ukraine’s independence after decades of Soviet rule.

At a joint press conference with Lithuania’s Gitanas Nausėda and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, the Polish president said the document “expresses the solidarity of our countries.”

“Today we are standing together,” Duda told reporters. “We are discussing difficult issues and talking about our shared history, but also about the shared interests and shared security of our part of Europe, and we are also talking about solidarity.”

He said: “The declaration we have just signed serves to express this solidarity and pinpoint the current problems.”

Duda also said he was opposed to “a policy of concessions to Russia,” and added that “everything must be done to avert an attack on Ukraine,” referring to Russia’s military buildup near its southern neighbour. 

Migration crisis, 'need of joint efforts'

In the document, the three presidents expressed their “support and solidarity" in the face of a migration crisis "artificially created and orchestrated by Minsk on the Lithuanian–Belarusian and Polish–Belarusian borders,” stating their resolve “to join efforts to counter it.” 

Duda, Zelensky and Nausėda also said that “this hybrid attack represents a direct threat to the security of the entire Europe.” 

Moreover, the three heads of state voiced “particular concern over the continuing deterioration of security and stability in the region and evolving threats, including hybrid ones, resulting, inter alia, from the ongoing Russian aggression.”

They agreed “on the need of joint efforts" to strengthen "resilience in the face of those threats, in order to counter them in a more efficient and coordinated manner,” the declaration stated.

“Our common task is to deter the threat posed by Russia and defend Europe from Russia's aggressive policies,” Ukraine’s Zelensky told reporters.

“Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania are the vanguard of that deterrence today,” he added.

The Lublin Triangle is a three-way initiative that aims to enhance political, economic and social ties between Warsaw, Vilnius and Kyiv, while also helping Ukraine regain its territorial integrity and bring that country closer to the European Union and NATO.

Earlier this month, in a joint statement to mark the 30th anniversary of the recognition of the restoration of Ukraine’s independence by Poland and Lithuania, the three presidents called on the international community "to step up sanctions on the Russian Federation over its ongoing aggression against Ukraine."

Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said last week that the European Union and NATO were working to reduce tensions around Ukraine amid a Russian military build-up near that country.


Source: PAP