Volodymyr Zelensky decorated the Polish mayors during a visit to Warsaw on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
The ceremony took place at the office of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who said: “No one knows what challenges are ahead of us because Ukrainian soldiers are bravely fighting for the freedom of Ukraine, for safe Poland and Europe.”
The Polish Prime Minister’s Office posted photos and footage of the awards ceremony on Twitter, showing Zelensky decorating the Polish mayors, with Morawiecki and Deputy Interior Minister Paweł Szefernaker in attendance, among others.
The Ukrainian president made a one-day state visit to Warsaw on Wednesday, his first official trip to Poland since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of his country in February last year.
Zelensky met for talks with Poland's President Andrzej Duda, and he also held talks with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, attended a Polish-Ukrainian business forum, and addressed the public outside the Polish capital's Royal Castle.
Zelensky asks Polish lawmakers to highlight plight of Ukrainian children
On Wednesday evening, Ukraine’s president also met with Poland’s top lawmakers, lower-house Speaker Elżbieta Witek and upper-house Speaker Tomasz Grodzki, the PAP news agency reported.
During the meeting, Poland’s Witek said that Polish MPs were continually raising the issue of Russia’s war against Ukraine during international talks to ensure that “Western countries don’t get used to the war and the faith in a Ukrainian victory doesn’t falter.”
She added that the Polish lower house, the Sejm, had adopted “a number of resolutions expressing solidarity with Ukraine,” as well as a law granting “comprehensive assistance to Ukrainian war refugees.”
Witek also said she was working together with fellow EU women parliamentary leaders to highlight Russian crimes, such as “deportation of Ukrainian children and women trafficking.”
Meanwhile, Zelensky, who was accompanied by Ukraine’s top diplomat Dmytro Kuleba, “thanked the Polish nation for its support for Ukraine,” according to officials.
He called on Polish lawmakers to "keep publicising" the tragedy of women and children being deported from Ukraine "for the purposes of Russification.”
Zelensky also urged Polish legislators to build support in the parliaments of other European countries for the establishment of a special tribunal to try Russian crimes, according to officials.
Witek and the Zelensky also discussed “ways to combat Russian disinformation” when they met at Warsaw's Royal Castle on Wednesday, the PAP news agency reported.
Zelensky hails ‘victorious’ visit to Poland
The Ukrainian president on Wednesday evening took to social media, writing on the Telegram social messaging app: “My visit to Poland, as well as negotiations with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, can be described as victorious," the PAP news agency reported.
He added: “It’s vital that our soldiers on the front know that today in Warsaw we have agreed on support that will boost their efforts.”
Zelensky stated: “The more military assistance arrives in Ukraine, the quicker the situation in Bakhmut and other sections of the front will change.”
He also said that Poland’s military assistance “will give more strength to every man and woman defending Ukraine."
"I would like to thank Mateusz for this,” he wrote, referring to the Polish prime minister.
Zelensky added, as quoted by the PAP news agency: “I thank Polish businesses, every company, every entrepreneur, for working with Ukraine and in Ukraine."
Earlier on Wednesday, Morawiecki and Zelensky signed a letter of intent on the supply of Polish-made defence equipment to Ukraine, notably Rosomak infantry fighting vehicles.
The Polish and Ukrainian governments also signed an agreement to work together in the joint production of 125mm tank ammunition, as well as a memorandum on cooperation in the postwar reconstruction of Ukraine, officials told reporters.
'This was a truly great, historic day in Ukrainian-Polish relations': envoy
Meanwhile, following Zelensky’s visit to Poland, Ukraine’s ambassador to Warsaw, Vasyl Zvarych, said in a tweet: “This was a truly great, historic day in Ukrainian-Polish relations!”
Zvarych added: “I thank Poland and the Polish people for the hospitality and kindness shown to the Ukrainian delegation, led by the presidential couple. Дякую!”
Thursday is day 407 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: PAP, sejm.gov.pl