Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine sign declaration on Ukrainian integrity
The Polish president has described a joint declaration by heads of state of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine as an expression of solidarity and support for Ukraine.
Andrzej Duda, Gitanas Nauseda, the Lithuanian president, and their Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky signed the agreement in Guta, western Ukraine, on Monday.
The declaration stated their support for Ukraine's integrity and called for a strong stance against Russia.
Russian military build-ups on the border with Ukraine have prompted speculation that Moscow might launch an invasion at the beginning of next year.
Duda told a joint press conference with his Lithuanian and Ukrainian counterparts that the declaration was proof of their solidarity.
"The declaration is designed to express our solidarity and show the existing problems as well as the future direction of our cooperation," he added.
Referring to Poland and Lithuania, Duda said that both countries, being EU and Nato members, should put forward proposals and demand joint actions on these international fora "in order to ensure the security of our part of Europe."
"We focused on difficult subjects (related to the security of the region - PAP) and we also spoke about the community of interests and security of our part of Europe," Duda added.
The Polish president said that both crises in the region, the one on the border with Belarus, initiated by the Belarusian regime and supported by Moscow, and Russia's intensified military presence near the border with Ukraine, "are of great concern to us and all our Nato allies."
"Our position as the presidents of the Lublin Triangle is clear: the security of Ukraine is a fundamental issue... we must we not allow any effective attack to be carried out against Ukraine, but above all we must do everything possible to prevent such an attack," Duda said.
He added that he is "an absolute opponent of any policy of concessions towards Russia."
"In my opinion, it is Russia that should withdraw from the actions it has undertaken in recent years," Duda said.
Zelensky stated that it was important to coordinate actions among the three countries and share their experience.
"Our common task is to stop the Russian threat and protect Europe from aggressive Russian policies. Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania are in the vanguard of this resistance, like no other country we understand the pressing need to consolidate our joint efforts, we understand how important it is now to speak with one voice," he said.
Nauseda concurred that only cooperation will make it possible to fight illegal migration, cyber attacks and disinformation.
"Russia is trying to put pressure on Ukraine and is posing a threat to Ukraine's close relations with the EU and NATO. Nobody has the right to make choices for independent states, so today we are sending out a very clear message: the consequences for Russia will be very hard. We cannot accept attempts to build new dividing lines in Europe in the 21st century," he said.
Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania formed the Lublin Triangle, regional cooperation format, in July 2020.