‘You haven’t abandoned Ukraine’: Zelenksyy visits Poland to deepen ties
Warsaw, Apr 5 (EFE).- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked close ally Poland for its support on Wednesday, during his first official trip since Russia launched its full-scale military invasion of his country over a year ago.
Zelenskyy, together with his wife, were welcomed by Polish president Andrzej Duda earlier at the presidential palace in Warsaw.
“It is a great honor for me to be here today with my wife and to thank the president, to thank his team, to thank the government of Poland and every Pole for what you have already done,” the Ukrainian leader said.
“You have not abandoned Ukraine, you stood shoulder to shoulder with us. We believe this is a historic relationship, a historic result and historic strength between our states,” he added in a joint press conference.
Zelenskyy also commented on the worsening situation in the besieged city of Bakhmut, saying there have been continuous Russian artillery attacks and ammunition shortages among Ukrainian forces.
Marcin Przydacz, the spokesman for Polish foreign affairs, said earlier that both leaders would discuss all aspects of bilateral ties including security and economic cooperation during the visit.
Poland has been one of the war-torn country’s key Western allies and one of the countries that have received the highest number of Ukrainian refugees; however, the conflict over the huge Ukrainian grain imports to Poland has led Polish farmers to stage massive protests on the border with Ukraine.
In addition, Ukrainian authorities’ January tribute to World War II-era nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, glorified in Ukraine and despised in Poland, was called “unacceptable” by the Polish government.
Zelenskyy is scheduled to meet Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki and visit Castle Square in central Warsaw, with scores of Ukrainian refugees expected to attend.
On February 10, Zelenskyy met with Duda in the southeastern Polish city of Rzeszów, which has become a logistics hub to transport arms from Poland to Ukraine.
Zelensky has rarely traveled abroad since Russia’s invasion of his country began in February 2022. He visited London, Paris and Brussels in February this year and the United States in December 2022.EFE