WARSAW (Reuters) -Polish President Andrzej Duda offered more support for Ukraine and called for an end to the Russian occupation of Crimea during his visit to Kyiv on Tuesday as Russia’s invasion of the country approached the six-month mark.
Warsaw is one of Kyiv’s strongest supporters and nearly six million Ukrainian refugees have crossed the border into Poland since Russia invaded their country on Feb. 24. Poland, a NATO and European Union member state, has often criticised some other EU nations for not doing more to help Ukraine.
Poland, which spent decades under Soviet domination from Moscow after World War Two, is the third largest provider of military support to Ukraine behind the United States and Britain, according to the Warsaw government.
Duda and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy met to discuss military backing for Ukraine and the political support Poland could offer to convince other countries to keep helping Kyiv, Duda’s office chief told reporters earlier on Tuesday.
Duda has met Zelenskiy five times this year, including on three visits he has made to Ukraine since the start of the invasion, which Russia calls a “special military operation”.
Speaking at a summit of the Crimea Platform on Tuesday, a forum that seeks to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and an end to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, Duda urged global leaders not to turn a blind eye on Russian aggression.
“Crimea was, remains and will be a part of Ukraine just like Gdansk is a part of Poland, Nice is a part of France, Cologne is a part of Germany, and Rotterdam is a part of Netherlands,” Duda said.
“There’s no return to business as usual with Russia, for sure there is no return to business as usual when Russia is attacking and occupying legally recognised Ukrainian territory.”
(Reporting by Marek Strzelecki and Pawel Florkiewicz, editing by Gareth Jones and Mark Heinrich)