“Nothing more important than supporting Ukraine,” says Tusk on Kyiv visit

Poland’s new prime minister, Donald Tusk, has visited Kyiv for his first trip to a foreign capital since taking office last month.

Following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal and President Volodymyr Zelensky, Tusk pledged Poland’s continued support to its eastern neighbour in its defence against Russian aggression.

“I would like to appeal from here to European leaders who have not fully understood what Ukraine is fighting for today,” said Tusk, speaking alongside Zelensky. “Anyone in the free world who pretends to be neutral deserves the darkest place in political hell.”

❗ Nie jesteście sami, także w tym sensie, że ta walka toczy się w każdym państwie Europy. Dzisiaj każdy w wolnym świecie, kto udaje neutralnego, że ma równy dystans albo prezentuje go do Ukrainy i do Rosji zasługuje na to najciemniejsze miejsce w politycznym piekle – premier… pic.twitter.com/AtUqCJVgl2

— Kancelaria Premiera (@PremierRP) January 22, 2024

“There is no more credible politician in the world working for peace today than President Zelensky,” continued the Polish prime minister. “You deeply believe in your mission to bring peace to Europe and Ukraine.”

“[While] there are political conflicts in Poland…there is no difference of opinion regarding support for Ukraine…because our security is also at stake,” he added. Earlier in the day, after meeting Shmyhal, Tusk had declared that “there is nothing more important than supporting Ukraine”.

Among Tusk’s delegation was Paweł Kowal, a former deputy foreign minister and current MP who Tusk today announced was being appointed as the government’s plenipotentiary for supporting the reconstruction of Ukraine.

„The consequences of Putin conquering Ukraine would be catastrophic for Europe and the whole system of US alliances,” Polish foreign minister @sikorskiradek tells @CNN.

„The cost would be much much higher than the cost of keeping Ukraine supplied now” pic.twitter.com/sgSKSJJ67C

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) January 9, 2024

During his press conference with Tusk, Zelensky thanked Poland for being “one of our greatest advocates and allies”. He said the pair had held “very effective negotiations” on issues such as increasing military aid to Ukraine through a loan from Poland and joint weapons production, reports Polsat News.

The Ukrainian president added that they had also “discussed the situation on our border”, where Polish truckers and farmers have recently been protesting against cheaper Ukrainian competition.

Tusk also noted that he and President Andrzej Duda – an ally of the former Polish government who has regularly clashed with the new administration – “have reached an agreement to fully support Ukraine’s quick accession to the European Union”.

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Main image credit: DonaldTusk/X

Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign PolicyPOLITICO EuropeEUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

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