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UPDATE: Polish, German, French leaders declare ‘unwavering solidarity’ with Ukraine on war anniversary

24.02.2023 20:30
The heads of state of Poland, Germany and France have issued a joint statement to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, condemning Moscow and expressing their “unwavering solidarity” with Kyiv.
Polands President Andrzej Duda (centre), Germanys Chancellor Olaf Scholz (right) and Frances President Emmanuel Macron (left) on Friday issued a joint statement to mark the one-year anniversary of Russias invasion of Ukraine, condemning Moscow and expressing their unwavering solidarity with Kyiv.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda (centre), Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz (right) and France's President Emmanuel Macron (left) on Friday issued a joint statement to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, condemning Moscow and expressing their “unwavering solidarity” with Kyiv.Twitter/Office of the President of Poland

Polish President Andrzej Duda, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron released their joint declaration based on their trilateral talks in the Weimar Triangle format in Munich on February 17, news outlets reported.

Poland’s Duda announced the statement after chairing a meeting of the country’s National Security Council on Friday. 

Duda told reporters: “Today, to mark the anniversary of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, we have issued a joint declaration of the Weimar Triangle countries. We had agreed with Chancellor Scholz and President Macron in Munich to prepare such a joint statement for today’s anniversary.” 

The Polish president said the statement was “very clear when it comes to its message and strong in the political sense.” He added: “We welcome it with satisfaction.”

‘Unwavering solidarity with Ukraine’

Duda, Scholz and Macron “reaffirmed their condemnation, in the strongest possible terms, of Russia’s unprovoked and brutal war of aggression against Ukraine, which constitutes a manifest violation of the international order based on the UN Charter,” the statement said.

The leaders of the Weimar Triangle “express their unwavering solidarity with Ukraine and their unconditional support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and its inherent right of self–defence against the Russian aggression."

The three leaders also pledged that “the Weimar Triangle countries will continue to stand firmly with Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes” and urged Russia “to unconditionally cease hostilities and withdraw its forces from the whole territory of Ukraine.”

According to the joint statement, the three leaders "agreed that the future of Ukraine lies in Europe." They also "took note of Kyiv’s Euro–Atlantic aspirations" and "reaffirmed the importance of solidarity with Ukraine.”

Moreover, "France, Poland and Germany welcome the decision of the European Council in 2022 to grant Ukraine the status of EU candidate country as well as Ukraine’s reform efforts in such difficult times," the statement said.

Duda, Scholz and Macron also stated that “the Weimar Triangle will stand with Ukraine and the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes. This includes our readiness to continue welcoming and supporting those who had to seek refuge from the Russian aggression.”

National Security Council meeting

Poland’s president told reporters that he had convened a session of the country’s National Security Council on Friday following a recent series of international meetings. 

Duda had recently held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in southeastern Poland, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and King Charles III in London, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron in Munich, and US President Joe Biden, who visited Poland this week, the PAP news agency reported. 

The Polish president said: “The main topic of these meetings was always the issue of Poland’s security in the context of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the defence of Ukraine, in other words, how the countries of the West, NATO allies, will support Ukraine’s defence against Russian aggression.”

He added: "A lot of very serious information was exchanged and many very serious declarations made.” 

Talks on joint production of ammunition with US

Duda revealed that he and Biden discussed “joint military production, for instance of ammunition,” adding that “a conversation on this topic with the United States, at the highest presidential level, has been launched” and that “these talks will definitely continue.”

Fighter jets for Ukraine?

Asked about the idea of providing Ukraine with MiG-29 or F-16 fighter jets, the Polish president said “there were no talks about aircraft with the US president.”

Duda reiterated Poland's stance that it would be ready to support Ukraine with its older generation aircraft, but only as part of a broader coalition, according to PAP.  

Spare parts for tanks

The president was also asked about the delivery of German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Earlier in the day, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki visited Kyiv in a show of solidarity and handed over the first four Leopard 2 tanks out of the 14 Poland had pledged to Ukraine, the PAP news agency reported.

Poland was also instrumental in creating an international coalition of countries that so far had pledged a battalion of modern tanks for Ukraine.  

Duda said: “When it comes to technical support, the biggest responsibility rests with Germany as the maker of these tanks. Without spare parts for the Leopard 2 tanks, which are produced by Germany, their functioning will definitely be limited in time.”

The president told reporters that Poland had urged Germany for a long time to join the coalition of countries sending tanks to Ukraine.

He stated: “Germany has joined the tank coalition and I hope they will not only supply tanks, to which they have committed, but they will also be providing spare parts, which have posed a serious problem to date.”

Friday is day 366 of Russia’s war on Ukraine, which started on February 24, 2022.


Source: PAP, prezydent.pl