President says an honest Europe must halt aggression

Duda expressed hope that further sanctions would have a sobering effect and would block Russia. Andrzej Lange/PAP

Poland's president believes that halting Russian aggression is possible through common European actions and support for Ukraine.

Andrzej Duda was speaking after an extraordinary summit on Friday in Warsaw of the Bucharest Nine (B9) - the nine countries lying on Nato's eastern flank, following a virtual Nato summit. Both summits concerned the Russian attack on Ukraine.

"It is a frightening experience when you go to the president of a neighbouring country, your friend, in order to support him in a difficult situation in the face of aggression which is inevitable, and you hear from him that you cannot meet any more because he will stay until the end and will defend his country to the end, will certainly not escape from it," Duda told a press conference after the B9 summit, recalling a recent meeting in Kyiv with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

President Duda said in recent days many B9 leaders had talked to Zelensky. "All were equally shaken, that's why today's Nato summit, it can safely be said, was powerful," Duda said. "As was our Bucharest Nine summit. Powerful in tone, strong in declarations, but important declarations, because they will lead to serious sanctions against Russia and against its leaders."

Duda expressed hope that further sanctions would have a sobering effect and would block Russia. "We all unambiguously support Ukraine and we all know perfectly well who the aggressor is and who the victim of aggression is," he said.

The Polish president went on to say that the stance of the B9 and Nato would be carried out and would work. "There can be no consent to aggression in Europe, which has survived the First and Second World Wars," he added.

"An honest Europe must halt aggression," Duda continued. "I believe that thanks to our actions and our support of Ukraine in all possible ways, we are in a position to achieve that... I believe that we will contribute to a return to normality in Ukraine and for Ukraine, for Ukrainians, for our neighbours."