Duda calls on Ukrainian membership of Nato and EU
Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has called on Ukraine to be allowed to join both the EU and Nato.
Duda met Volodymyr Zelensky, his Ukrainian counterpart, during a special summit in Warsaw to mark the 230th anniversary of the signing of the May 3 Constitution, one of the pivotal moments in Polish and Central European history.
The summit brought together the presidents of Poland, Ukraine and the three Baltic states.
Poland’s support for Ukrainian membership of the EU and Nato comes at a time when Ukraine is facing continuous pressure from Russia, and its conflict with Moscow-backed forces in eastern Ukraine rumbles on with little sign, or hope, of resolution.
"The present president of Ukraine, which is not yet a member of the EU, is with us, but for years we have not only been talking, but also making efforts to make Ukraine's membership of the EU a reality," Duda said.
The Polish president added that Nato should formulate a plan for Ukrainian membership of the alliance at a summit in Brussels next month.
He said it was essential that Ukraine was presented with a “roadmap” for membership.
President Zelensky thanked the Polish president for his "constant support for our territorial integrity and sovereignty.
"Today it is extremely important for us,” he added. “When a large part of Ukrainian territory, Crimea, is occupied, there is a war in Eastern Europe, there is a war in Europe. So I believe it is important for us to stay together.
"I believe that we share the same dreams, but we have different experiences. Indeed, Ukraine has very different experiences. We have been fighting for our independence for many decades," said the Ukrainian president, adding that Ukrainians have always fought for their country when "someone tried to impose their rights on them or when they were part of foreign empires".