Volodymyr Zelensky’s words came in his nightly address to the nation on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Ukraine’s president said: “I spoke today with President of Poland Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi. I had a meeting with the President of the National Assembly of France. I am grateful to our partners for clearly condemning the Russian sham referenda, for condemning the attempted annexation of our territory, which the Kremlin is currently preparing,” as quoted by the Ukrinform news agency.
‘I am grateful to our Polish brothers’
Zelensky also stated: “I am grateful to our Polish brothers for their invaluable defence support and our cooperation for the sake of common security.”
“And today, in a conversation with Andrzej Duda, with Mr. President, we discussed how we can further strengthen our relations,” he added.
“We also discussed cross-border cooperation," the Ukrainian president said. "We must do everything so that our nations face no obstacles for economic and any other relations."
Zelensky also discussed the annexation pseudo-referenda held by Russian-backed officials in occupied parts of Ukraine.
He said: “Russia will not get a new territory of Ukraine. Russia will annex itself to the catastrophe that it has brought to the occupied territory of our country,” as quoted by Ukrinform.
The Ukrainian president warned: “Depriving the entire Russian society of a normal economy, a decent life and respect for any human value will be the price for the fact that one person in Russia wants this war to continue.”
'We know how to react to Russian actions'
Zelensky promised a strong response to Russia’s imminent annexations of Ukrainian territory and summoned the country’s National Security and Defence Council for an emergency meeting on Friday, the Reuters news agency reported.
"There will be solutions, and we know how to react to any Russian actions," the Ukrainian leader said, as quoted by the Ukrainska Pravda website.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was on Friday set to host a Kremlin ceremony annexing four regions of Ukraine, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, amounting to some 15 percent of Ukraine's total area.
Late on Thursday, Putin took a preparatory step, signing decrees paving the way for Ukraine’s occupied regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to be officially folded into Russia. The decrees were made public by the Kremlin, according to Reuters.
‘This can still be stopped’
Meanwhile, Zelensky said Putin should be stopped for Russia to avoid the most damaging repercussions of the war.
“This can still be stopped," he said, addressing Russians. "But to stop it, you have to stop that one in Russia who wants war more than life. Your life, citizens of Russia."
Friday is day 219 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, Reuters, ukrinform.net, pravda.com.ua