– If we want Ukraine to survive and for this war not to end with Russia’s victory, support is still needed, in even greater amounts than what is provided today – said President Andrzej Duda on Sunday in Vilnius. On the anniversary of the outbreak of the January Uprising, he met with the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda and delegations from Belarus and Ukraine.
– We meet in Vilnius to remember the years 1863-64, the creation of the Polish nations, LithuaniaBelarus and Ukraine, which has become a symbol of the community that we cultivate to this day, said Nauseda after the conversation with Duda. He recalled that “Russia is currently attacking Ukraine” and “trying to deprive this country of its freedom.” – It is a reminder that freedom is not understood in the vicinity of the aggressor, and that this freedom must be fought for – he emphasized.
“We ensure the security of the entire region”
Nauseda added that he “would like to enjoy the great relations between Poland and Lithuania.” He also emphasized that “both neighbors (Poland and Lithuania – PAP) guard democracy in Europe.” – We ensure the security of the entire region. Both countries work together in the security sphere. We will strengthen this cooperation, conduct joint exercises and increase troop mobility, Nauseda announced.
He emphasized the importance of aid for Ukraine and recalled that a meeting of the Lublin Triangle will soon be held with the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He declared that supporting Ukraine is one of the priorities of Lithuanian policy, which will certainly be continued. – Unfortunately, this is in some sense our tradition that we have to fight for freedom against the Russian invader. That is why today, for both of us and for our part of Europe, it is so important to support Ukraine, said President Duda.
Joint maneuvers and economic cooperation
President Duda also announced that the topics of Sunday’s conversation with Nauseda included preparations for the summit and strengthening the security of our part of Europe. – The President of Lithuania and I expressed our satisfaction that large-scale maneuvers will be held in our part of Europe in the near future FOR THIS – said the president. He said that these exercises show our readiness and preparation to repel possible aggression, as well as the degree of involvement of allies in NATO, their presence in our part of Europe and the speed of the Alliance’s reaction.
He noted that regardless of this, the presidents would like to co-organize maneuvers with the participation of Polish and Lithuanian soldiers. – The Suwałki Isthmus is a region that requires special patrolling and strengthening today – we have been working on this together for years – assured Duda.
The president also expressed satisfaction with the developing economic cooperation between Poland and Lithuania. As he noted, the value of bilateral economic exchange exceeded EUR 10 billion. The President recalled jointly implemented infrastructure projects, such as Via Baltica and Rail Baltica.
Duda: Ukraine needs support
The leaders were asked during the press conference whether it is possible to speed up the decision-making process of European countries, both in terms of supporting Ukraine and strengthening their own security. President Nauseda admitted that “Europe should take a greater role” in supporting Ukraine. He emphasized that for this purpose it is necessary to constantly increase the production capacity of the European defense industry.
– These processes are slowly moving forward, but the EU consists of 27 member states. We understand that not all countries have the same pace of decision-making, he said. He added that Lithuania is one of the “most enthusiastic countries” when it comes to increasing its own defense capabilities and supporting Ukraine.
President Duda, however, assessed that without the West’s hardware, financial and material support, Ukraine “will have a huge problem defending itself against Russia.” – If we want Ukraine to survive and this war not to end in victory Russiathis support is still needed, in even greater amounts than what is provided today, he emphasized.
He admitted that currently the arsenals of EU countries lack, among others, ammunition needed by Ukraine to fight effectively, which – as he said – requires intensified production and increasingly closer cooperation in this area.
Nauseda also pointed out that the Baltic countries and Poland are members of NATO, therefore Russian aggression against any of them would result in the automatic triggering of Art. 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. He added that actions are underway to increase the presence of allied troops on the eastern flank. Both presidents also pointed out that both countries had significantly increased defense spending in recent years, including arming and modernizing their armed forces. Nauseda emphasized that Poland had reached a level of approximately 4%. GDP of defense spending. – This is the level we should focus on – he noted.
161st anniversary of the uprising
The January Uprising began on January 22, 1863. The insurgents attacked Russian garrisons in the Kingdom of Poland. During the military operations lasting over 1.5 years, there were over a thousand smaller and larger skirmishes, and a total of at least 150,000 took part in the fighting. insurgents. The January Uprising was the longest-lasting and most mass independence movement of the 19th century. The result of the insurrection turned out to be tragic – tens of thousands were killed or executed by the Russians, exiled to Siberia, and confiscation of the property of the participants of the uprising.
Main photo source: PAP/Valdemar Doveiko