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Polish president highlights 'symbolic aspects' of his visit to Ukraine’s Lviv

12.01.2023 08:00
Poland’s president has said that his visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Wednesday had "symbolic aspects," such the signing of a joint declaration with the presidents of Ukraine and Lithuania and a tribute to fallen Polish and Ukrainian soldiers at the Young Eagles’ Cemetery.
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks to reporters at Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport in southeastern Poland, on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks to reporters at Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport in southeastern Poland, on Wednesday, January 11, 2023. PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

Andrzej Duda made the statement after landing at Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport in southeastern Poland on Wednesday evening, state news agency PAP reported. 

The Polish president on Wednesday visited Lviv, where he met with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and Lithuania's Gitanas Nausėda for trilateral talks in the so-called Lublin Triangle format.  

Joint declaration

Duda told reporters that his visit to Lviv had “symbolic aspects,” such as when the three presidents signed a joint declaration.

In the document, Duda, Zelensky and Nausėda reaffirmed Ukraine’s inalienable right to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and stressed their willingness to work together on the postwar reconstruction of Ukraine, according to officials.

The Polish president stated: “Our joint declaration says that our three nations had stood up to aggression from the east in the past, that we had stood up to the evil that came at us from the east, intent on crushing us. Such was the stance of our three nations during the January Uprising against Russia in 1863.”  

Tribute at Young Eagles’ Cemetery 

Duda said that another symbolic aspect of his trip to Lviv was his visit with Zelensky to the Young Eagles’ Cemetery.

Duda stated: “It’s the burial place of the defenders of Poland, the defenders of Lwów against Soviet aggression, the Young Eagles of Lwów.”

The Ukrainian city of Lviv was once part of Poland and was called Lwów.

The Polish head of state added: “Together with President Zelensky, we paid homage to the fallen Polish soldiers, as well as to Ukrainian soldiers who were killed while defending Ukraine against Russia ... and also to those from an earlier era who defended Poland shoulder to shoulder with Polish soldiers.”   

Duda said the tribute “was a gesture of friendship, a reference to shared tradition and shared aspects of history, aspects of brotherhood and mutual understanding.”

Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine

During the news conference at Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport, Duda reaffirmed his pledge that Poland would provide Ukraine with a company of German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks.  

He said: “We are ready to deliver a company of Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine, as part of an international coalition. It’s about a whole group of countries providing tanks in order to create a serious counterforce to Russia's aggression against Ukraine.”

Support for Ukraine’s bid to join EU, NATO

Duda said that during the trilateral talks in Lviv, “together with President Nausėda we made declarations to President Zelensky about how we are going to support Ukraine politically, as it seeks membership of the European Union, as well as supporting Ukraine’s bid to join NATO, including ahead of the alliance’s summit in Vilnius.”

The Polish president told reporters that Poland and Lithuania would "lobby NATO to give special security guarantees to Ukraine.”

He added: “We also discussed the military support that Poland as well as Lithuania have been providing to Ukraine, in terms of infrastructure and equipment, since the start of the conflict" with Russia.

Thursday is day 323 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 


Source: PAP, wpolityce.pl

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska.