Western leaders united over Ukraine crisis Duda says
Western leaders are united by the need to support Ukraine against Russian aggression, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, said after a telephone conference call on the crisis convened by US President Joe Biden.
Several leaders and the heads of Nato and the European Union took part in the call with Biden held on Friday afternoon not long after the US president warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be days away.
Apart from Duda, the leaders of France, Germany, the UK, Canada Italy and Romania attended the virtual meeting.
The Polish president said that the conference focused on the growing Russian military presence on the Ukrainian border and in Belarus, and the need to help Ukraine.
"There is absolute unity among Western leaders, there is a feeling of a deep need for solidarity, to declare this solidarity, both among us and with Ukraine, the need to help Ukraine," Duda said commenting on Friday talks.
He added that there was no declaration on sending any military forces to Ukraine.
"Nevertheless, there is a readiness to support Ukraine both financially and through the supply of weapons and other resources that Ukraine will need, especially defensive measures," Duda said.
He also said that all leaders participating in Friday's talks confirmed that in the event of an invasion of Ukraine by Russia, that sanctions should be applied.
"We should be prepared for this. We have to show our toughness and strength. We have to support Ukraine. Do not give in. We cannot agree with Russia's dictates sent to Nato countries," Duda said.
According to him, Nato countries must pursue dialogue with Moscow and seek opportunities for Russia to come out of the current situation while "keeping face".
But Duda also warned against making any concessions because Russia "views concession as weakness and becomes even more aggressive."
Nato, he said, has behaved responsibly in the current situation.
"This is why we joined the Alliance, to have a sense of security. This sense of security is there. Nato is not retreating, on the contrary, it becomes stronger in Central Europe," Duda said.