May 23, 2022 07:51 UTC
  • Only Ukraine must decide its own future, Polish president says

Polish President Andrzej Duda has told Ukrainian lawmakers that only Ukraine must decide its own future.

On Sunday, Duda became the first foreign leader to give a speech in person to the Ukrainian parliament since February 24, when Russia commenced its ongoing “special military operation” in Ukraine.

According to Press TV, the operation has since drawn waves of unprecedented sanctions from the United States and its European allies against Moscow, and large flow of advanced weapons to Kiev.

“Worrying voices have appeared, saying that Ukraine should give in to Putin's demands,” the Polish president said.

Duda, however, stressed that “Only Ukraine has the right to decide about its future... nothing about you without you.” The comment received a standing ovation in the chamber.

“If Ukraine is sacrificed for... economic reasons or political ambitions - even a centimeter of its territory - it will be a huge blow not only for the Ukrainian nation, but for the entire Western world,” Duda emphasized.

He added that international community must demand that Russia completely pull out of Ukrainian territory.

Kiev has so far rejected any peace deal that would involve it giving up Ukrainian territory and has dismissed calls for a truce that would involve Russian forces remaining in the Ukraine territories.

Since the onset of war, Poland has positioned itself as one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies, sheltering the largest number of Ukrainian refugees, nearly 3.5 million. Moreover, Warsaw has been a strong advocate of tough sanctions against Russia, strongly urging the European Union to accept Ukraine as a new member.

“I will not rest until Ukraine becomes a member of the European Union,” Duda further said on Sunday.