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UPDATE: Polish, Hungarian presidents discuss Russia's war on Ukraine

17.05.2022 21:30
Poland’s president on Tuesday hosted his new Hungarian counterpart to discuss Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine. 
Audio
Polands President Andrzej Duda (R) and Hungarys Katalin Novk (L) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Warsaw on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda (R) and Hungary's Katalin Novák (L) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Warsaw on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.KPRP/Jakub Szymczuk

Andrzej Duda met with Katalin Novák at Warsaw’s Belweder Palace, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

At a joint news conference afterwards, the Polish head of state said that this was the first foreign visit for Novák, who assumed office on May 10.

“For me, the fact that President Novák decided to make her first visit to Poland, to Warsaw, means that the friendship between Poland and Hungary, between the Polish and Hungarian presidents, will continue,” Duda said.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine

He added that his talks with Novák had focused mainly “on the Russian assault of Ukraine and the impasse it has created.”      

Duda told reporters that Hungary’s economic ties to Russia "ran deep" and were therefore “more difficult to cut than for Poland.”  

He also said that Poland had begun diversifying sources of energy some time ago, and after Russia stopped gas deliveries last month, his country was "receiving gas via alternative routes.”

“Sadly, Hungary doesn't have this level of energy security,” he added.

'Russian aggression must be stopped'

At the same time, the Polish president stressed that “the Russian aggression must be stopped, by peaceful means, such as sanctions.”

“I spoke to President Novák about the European Union’s sixth sanctions package, pointing out that it is necessary in view of Russia’s war on Ukraine, and President Novák is perfectly aware of this,” he told reporters.  

“Hopefully, the new sanctions package will be agreed upon, also with the Hungarian authorities, in a shape that can be implemented,” Duda said.

Proposed EU ban on Russian oil

The head of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, last week proposed a phase-out of Russian oil as part of a sixth round of sanctions against Moscow for its assault on Ukraine.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at the time that this would be “like an atomic bomb dropped on the Hungarian economy.”

While in Warsaw, Novák was also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and parliamentary Speaker Elżbieta Witek. 

Tuesday was day 83 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAPprezydent.pl

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.