President calls for military aid to Ukraine

The heads of state of the Budapest Nine countries met for an extraordinary summit in Warsaw on Friday to discuss Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the security situation in Central and Eastern Europe. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also took part. Andrzej Lange/PAP

Poland's president said at the start of a meeting on Friday of the Bucharest Nine countries of Nato's eastern flank that "passive condemnation" of Russia's attack on Ukraine was insufficient and that Ukraine needs support, including the provision of arms.

The heads of state of the Bucharest Nine countries met for an extraordinary summit in Warsaw on Friday to discuss Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the security situation in Central and Eastern Europe. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also took part.

"Yesterday, the demons of a great war, not seen since 1945, returned to Europe," Andrzej Duda said inaugurating the meeting. "One country and only one country is responsible for the pictures of war reaching us from Ukraine: it is Putin's Russia," he added.

"Meeting today in the group of countries of Nato's eastern flank, we cannot stop at passive condemnation of this brutal attack," Duda continued. "We must move on to concrete actions."

"The response of the West must be decisive, unified, and carried out jointly by the whole Euro-Atlantic community," Duda said. "We must support Ukraine more strongly, especially by providing weaponry."

The Polish president went on to say that the "peaceful dream of rich Europeans and allowing the armament of Russia," which he said was mostly funded by oil and gas money on European markets, had led to a situation in which "yesterday we awoke to an entirely new reality."

He said the entire Euro-Atlantic security system was at stake in the war in Ukraine and expressed agreement with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, who said "if you do not help us today, the knock of war will come to your door tomorrow."

Duda added that Russia's political elites understood only the language of force, from the Tzars to the communists to Putin's Russia today, and, according to Polish president, this is the language that should be used by the West.