Ukraine, Duda: “Only Kiev has the right to decide its future”

The speech of the Polish president to the Ukrainian Parliament

“Worrying voices have been heard, arguing that Ukraine should give in to Putin’s demands. Only Ukraine has the right to decide its future … nothing about you without you.” This was stated by Polish President Andrzej Duda, speaking in front of the Parliament of Kiev, the first foreign leader to intervene in the presence since the beginning of the Russian invasion on 24 February last.

Duda is campaigning for Ukraine to obtain EU candidate country status as soon as possible. The Polish head of state had already visited Kiev after the outbreak of the war in April and had also met with President Volodymyr Zelensky. Back in Kiev, he accused Russia of waging all-out war in Ukraine. He will never forget his impressions of visiting Borodyanka village, which was destroyed by airstrikes and missiles, Duda said in Przemysl, southeastern Poland in mid-April. Duda had visited Ukraine with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Originally Duda had suggested that German President Frank Walter Steinmeier also take part in the trip, but signs had come from Kiev that Steinmeier was not welcome. These disagreements are now considered to be settled. The only member of the German government who visited Kiev this month was Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.