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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

‘Only Ukraine has right to decide its future,’ Polish president tells Ukrainian parliament

22.05.2022 15:35
Poland's president on Sunday addressed the Ukrainian parliament in Kyiv, saying that only Ukraine had the right to determine its own future.
Audio
  • Polish President addressed Ukrainian parliament in Kyiv
Polands President Andrzej Duda (centre) delivers a speech to the Ukrainian parliament, in Kyiv on Sunday, May 22, 2022.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda (centre) delivers a speech to the Ukrainian parliament, in Kyiv on Sunday, May 22, 2022.KPRP/Jakub Szymczuk

Andrzej Duda became the first foreign leader to give an in-person speech to the Verkhovna Rada since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Polish state news agency PAP reported.   

The Polish president was greeted with a standing ovation and a rendition of Poland’s national anthem, before embracing his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky

‘Nothing about you without you’

Duda told Ukraine’s parliament that there were “worrying voices” suggesting that the country should give in to the demands of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. 

“Only Ukraine has the right to decide its future. Nothing about you without you,” he stressed, to a standing ovation from the gathering.

The Polish president added: “If Ukraine is sacrificed for... economic reasons or political ambitions - even a centimetre of its territory - it will be a huge blow not only for the Ukrainian nation, but for the entire Western world.”

Duda also said that the international community must demand Russia’s complete withdrawal from Ukraine. 

‘I won’t rest until Ukraine is in EU’

Poland’s head of state went on to say: “I won’t rest until Ukraine becomes a member of the European Union.”

Meanwhile, Zelensky thanked the Polish people for their support, adding: “the unity of our nations must remain unchangeable.”

Duda-Zelensky talks

Afterwards, the two presidents held a private meeting in Kyiv, the PAP news agency reported.

Last month, Duda visited Ukraine alongside his counterparts from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, meeting Zelensky in Kyiv and travelling to nearby towns that witnessed Russian atrocities: Bucha, Borodyanka and Irpen.

Sunday is day 88 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

(pm)

Source: PAP, prezydent.plwydarzenia.interia.pl, Reuters