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Open the doorways to NATO and the EU, says Poland’s President Duda

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The European Union and NATO ought to open their doorways to all international locations who need to be part of, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda says.

Talking on the World Financial Discussion board in Davos, the Polish president mentioned international locations equivalent to Moldova and Georgia ought to get pleasure from the identical welcome as his nation did.

“Poles are in favour of an open door coverage to each the European Union and NATO,” he informed Euronews’ Sasha Vakulina. “Why? Amongst different issues, as a result of we ourselves as soon as skilled this coverage. If we’re supporters of democracy, in the most effective sense of the phrase, then it’s the nations which have the proper to resolve whether or not they belong.”

Watch the interview within the video participant above

Interview Transcript

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Sasha Vakulina, Euronews: We’re getting near the twenty fourth of February, the date that will mark one yr since Russia’s full-scale invasion into Ukraine. Poland has been on the forefront in so many elements throughout this yr. I need to ask you, how has Poland modified throughout this yr?

Andrzej Duda, President of Poland: Poland has modified so much. Poles spontaneously drove to the border, opened their houses, got here of their automobiles, took refugees, those that have been fleeing the warfare, those that had taken refuge in Poland. As many instances as I’m in Ukraine, as many instances as I meet defenders of Ukraine, troopers, commanders, as many instances I say: hear, battle calmly, defend the state, battle in opposition to Russian aggression. Your wives, your kids, your moms, your sisters who’ve come to us, to Poland, are secure. At this time, the Ukrainian language will be heard in all places in Poland, in each public establishment, in each store, on the tram, on the bus, on the road, in all places. That is our actuality right now. We dwell collectively, we really feel good collectively. We’re, one might say, two pleasant and even brotherly nations. And for us, by way of army safety, it’s a nice demonstration, not solely to us as a society, but additionally to the entire world, that independence, freedom, just isn’t given as soon as and for all, that independence will be misplaced on account of aggression. A free, sovereign, impartial nation has been brutally attacked; the brutal Russian invader destroys homes, fires missiles at civilian settlements, kills individuals. This can be a big shock to the world. For us, all of the extra mobilisation to strengthen our safety.

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Sasha Vakulina: Do you assume these requires stronger safety and extra safety considerations shall be strengthened after you converse at Davos and after this message being so loud right here on the World Financial Discussion board?

Andrzej Duda: The reality is that this financial discussion board, which has all the time had this sort of largely financial profile, right now is massively dominated by safety points. After all, this safety can be noticed not solely via a army, purely army prism. We do, after all, discuss the truth that Ukraine must be supported, and that it’s important to ship arms support to Ukraine on a regular basis whether it is to defend itself and fend off Russian aggression. This is the reason we spoke a lot yesterday in regards to the Polish initiative to ship Leopard tanks to Ukraine, in order that, as a part of allied support from varied international locations, we might collect collectively these Leopard tanks and create no less than an armoured brigade for Ukraine. We’re additionally speaking about power safety, we’re speaking about Europe’s power independence, and we’re speaking about the truth that the Russian coverage, as we now all see, was brutally designed and aimed toward domination over Europe, therefore Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2. That is additionally the rationale for our Polish protests in opposition to Nord Streams, as we noticed in it a path to Russian hegemony within the European power market, by way of fuel. We’ve got been diversifying fuel provides to Poland for years, as a result of we noticed the hazard. Sadly, our warnings have been ignored. That is why right now we’re speaking in Davos about constructing power safety with our heads held excessive, as a result of we now have been doing it for a very long time.

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Sasha Vakulina: There are many warnings which have been voiced by Poland prior to now with regards to power safety, with regards to financial dependence, with regards to the entire safety state of affairs. How do you assume the warfare in Ukraine has modified Europe’s geopolitical safety dynamics for Poland and Jap European international locations?

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Andrzej Duda: Firstly, one thing that definitely shocked Putin and the Russian aggressors. Unity, the unity of the European Union, the unity of NATO. One thing that has not been so clearly current till now, as a result of the Russians didn’t encounter such unity both in 2008, once they attacked Georgia, or in 2014, once they truly attacked Ukraine for the primary time. Now they’ve collided with a wall of unity from the European aspect and from the North Atlantic Alliance. Secondly, this warfare has additionally proven that there isn’t any safety right now actually with out shut Euro-Atlantic, or transatlantic, ties, that america performs an enormous function with regards to constructing this, this European safety. At this time, the most important support to Ukraine is from america. I’m very proud as president of Poland, as a result of we’re in a fully main place so far as this army support to Ukraine is worried. For this army support we’ve already spent over $2.3 billion. So, for us it’s a big expense and an enormous sacrifice, however we all know that we’re doing this to construct the safety of our a part of Europe, and we’re doing it and can proceed to do it.

Sasha Vakulina: We’ve got seen the EU not increasing a lot over the previous years. Is that this additionally one thing to rethink, together with Ukraine, together with Moldova and different international locations that could possibly be there in Europe becoming a member of the bloc.

Andrzej Duda: We, Poles are in favour of an open door coverage to each the European Union and NATO. Why? Amongst different issues, as a result of we ourselves as soon as skilled this coverage. If we’re supporters of democracy, in the most effective sense of the phrase, then it’s the nations which have the proper to resolve whether or not they belong. It’s nations which have the proper to resolve during which route they need their states to go, during which route they need their regimes to go. If the Ukrainians, our neighbours, need to belong to the European Union, in the event that they need to belong to NATO, if the identical is true of the individuals of Moldova, if the identical is true of the individuals of Georgia, they’ve the proper to take action. This warfare reveals that that’s what Putin doesn’t settle for. That is what Putin, along with his authoritarian character, along with his will to enslave different nations and his personal society is attempting to remove from the Ukrainians, to remove this chance, to remove their freedom, to remove their alternative to belong to the communities of the West, to NATO, to the European Union. We will by no means comply with this. At this time, Volodymyr Zelenskyy expects concrete steps from NATO.

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Sasha Vakulina: After virtually eighty years of peace in Europe, the warfare is again within the continent. Within the larger image, how can the present generations keep away from the repeat of previous tragedies? From the standpoint of Poland.

Andrzej Duda: Initially, Russia should be stopped. That’s the reason right now we, because the free world, ought to assist Ukraine with all our energy, together with supporting it militarily. However, alternatively, the warfare crimes should be punished. The entire world should see that we don’t let go of the crimes dedicated by the Russians in Ukraine. That the perpetrators of the crimes are held criminally accountable. It was Russia that invaded Ukraine with none cause. And the punishment it ought to undergo for this needs to be completely extreme.

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