Duda says state borders must be protected

Condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Duda said that changing "borders by force and denying the Ukrainian people the right to exist must be stopped." Justin Lane/PAP

The Polish president has warned that other countries might succumb to "neo-imperialism" and have their borders changed by force unless international law is adhered to and protected.

Andrzej Duda made the warning during an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Duda said that changing "borders by force and denying the Ukrainian people the right to exist must be stopped."

"This can only be done by restoring the full territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders," he added.

"We demand absolute respect for internationally recognised national borders. The inviolability of these borders is a fundamental element of the world order. Today, the victim is Ukraine. Tomorrow, it could be any one of us if we do not follow these ironclad rules, if we do not insistently enforce compliance with international law," Duda said.

He also said that "unpunished war crimes build a sense of impunity" in those who want to "dominate and determine the fate of other states and nations".

That is why, Duda continued, Poland supports efforts to hold Russia accountable for its alleged violation of international law.