Olena Zelenska’s words came in a speech to the Warsaw Security Forum conference, Poland's PAP news agency reported.
Appearing as a guest of honour, the Ukrainian first lady told the gathering: “I am pleased to have the opportunity to thank Poland personally for everything you have done for us from day one, from the beginning of the full-scale war, of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine."
She added, as quoted by the Polish state news agency: “You were the first to realise that this war isn’t just a war against Ukraine."
Zelenska stressed that Russia’s war was directed "against basic human values, such as the right to freedom, to a home, to a country, to a language," the PAP news agency reported.
She told Poles: “You have realised that Ukraine is now defending not only itself, but it is also defending the world against everything that Russia brings."
The Ukrainian first lady went on to say: “While Russia is hunting civilians, I am deeply grateful to Poland for every life that you have saved by providing shelter to the Ukrainians fleeing the war. I am grateful for every Ukrainian child who will wake up in the morning thanks to you.”
She thanked Polish President Andrzej Duda, First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, the government, parliament and "every Polish taxpayer" for "enormous support," according to PAP.
Referring to the ongoing Russian invasion, Zelenska stated: “This is a war of values.”
She added: “Under no circumstances can Russia set the precedent for aggression to become the way of solving problems in the world. Under no circumstances can the rockets, hitting the civilian infrastructure, be a legitimate method for solving disputes.”
“Under no circumstances can nuclear blackmail become our daily life,” she was also quoted as saying.
Zelenska emphasised that the war in Ukraine continued and her country needed more military, financial and humanitarian aid, PAP reported.
She said: “Your support for Ukraine today is not only significant assistance to us but also a strategic investment in the security and stability of the region, Europe and the world as a whole.”
She added it would be an investment “in creating a world where we all wish to live and raise our children."
“We will do everything possible so that the current and future generations never experience the suffering that the Russian occupier is bringing to my country today,” Zelenska declared.
“We can stop the aggressor only together,” she said.
“Thank you, Poland,” Zelenska concluded, as the audience rose to a standing ovation, the PAP news agency reported.
Held annually since 2014, the Warsaw Security Forum brings together government officials, decision makers and experts from various countries to discuss security in Central Europe as well as international policy issues and transatlantic relations.
Tuesday was day 223 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, dziennik.pl, warsawsecurityforum.org