Riga, Berlin As a welcome, President Andrzej Duda of Poland hugs his guest of honour, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The red carpet takes you to the Presidential Palace.
Zelensky doesn’t often travel abroad. Accompanied by his wife Olena Selenska and with comparatively little secrecy in advance, his visit to Poland on Wednesday is a special one.
The partnership is of great importance for Ukraine. Poland has repeatedly advocated Western military aid for the country so that it can defend itself against Russia. Zelensky thanked Duda and the Poles for their support “on the difficult road to our victory”.
During the visit, Duda said Poland would provide Ukraine with a total of 14 MIG-29 fighter jets. Four of the planes have already been handed over to the Ukrainian armed forces, and four more will follow, Duda said. One is ready to deliver six more, these are currently being prepared. Poland’s president announced a few weeks ago that he would deliver fighter jets.
Duda Selenski also ceremoniously awarded Poland’s highest civilian decoration, the Order of the White Eagle. “We have no doubt that your attitude, together with the bravery of the nation, saved Ukraine,” he told his guest.
Nevertheless, there are also tensions in the relationship between the countries: Polish farmers have been protesting for days because they have come under pressure from cheap Ukrainian agricultural products. Duda and Zelensky accordingly discussed issues related to grain transit from Ukraine, reconstruction in the country and further integration of Ukraine into the European Union.
However, when Selenski later met Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, it was said that Poland and Ukraine had agreed on a solution for grain imports. “We found a way out,” says Selenski. Everything will be clarified in the coming days. “There must be no open questions and complications between such close partners and true friends as Poland and Ukraine,” Zelenskiy continued. The Polish Minister of Agriculture resigned on Wednesday because of protests by farmers against falling grain prices due to imports.
This is how the Handelsblatt reports on the Ukraine war:
Morawiecki and Selenski also signed a preliminary contract for the purchase of new Polish wheeled armored personnel carriers, reportedly the KTO Rosomak model. However, neither the price nor the timetable for delivery were mentioned.
There was also talk that the two had agreed on the participation of Polish companies in the reconstruction of Ukraine and further cooperation between two strategic defense companies. Zelensky also invited Polish companies to do business in Ukraine before the end of the war.
In the evening, in a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Selenski praised Polish-Ukrainian friendship. The close Polish-Ukrainian alliance is a cornerstone in the liberation of the countries of Eastern Europe from Russian imperialism. “If we are free together with you, it is a guarantee that freedom will be strong in all our neighboring countries, neighbors of the European Union – Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania and other Baltic countries,” Zelenskiy said.
Meanwhile, Ukraine reported 47 Russian airstrikes between Tuesday and Wednesday, killing at least four civilians in the period.
More: Investing despite the war? German entrepreneurs in Ukraine