Nato needs to bolster eastern flank says Polish president

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, said upon his return from Kyiv on Monday that Nato needs to show resilience and strengthen its eastern flank to cripple Russia's aggressive policy in the region.

President Duda had travelled to the Ukrainian capital on Sunday to become the first foreign head of state to address the Verkhovna Rada, the country's parliament, in person since the start of the war.

"Nato has to be tough, Nato has to strengthen its eastern flank and Nato must pursue a consistent defence policy through deterrence of the potential aggressor, Russia," the Polish president said in the early hours on Monday at a railway station in Poland's eastern town of Przemysl.

"I would like the upcoming (Nato) summit in Madrid (June 28-30 - PAP) to achieve this, I would like to see decisions being made to strengthen the eastern flank, create brigade battle groups and establish stronger anti-missile and anti-aircraft forces so that we can feel safer in this part of Europe," Duda said.

He also said Russia had failed to achieve any of its strategic goals in Ukraine and was facing a political and military defeat.

"There is an impression that the Russians have now resorted to a war of attrition," Duda said. "Its purpose is to wear down the Ukrainians by a prolonged conflict, but also to wear down the international community and its use of sanctions, which are very costly not only for the Russians but also for the countries that have imposed them to stop Russia because they are costly for European societies."

In his Kyiv speech Duda also said only Ukraine had the right to decide its future and that the "barbarian invaders" from Russia must one day stand before tribunals.