Poland – In an interview published on Saturday, 5 March on the website Play Kraków News, Polish President Andrzej Duda talked about the war in Ukraine and the fact that protecting itself against possible aggression is the top priority for Poland.
“From my point of view, as President of the Republic of Poland,
what matters most is to avoid a war in Poland at all costs,
to avoid, whatever the costs, a war in which Polish soldiers will die…”
Duda recalled in this regard that American President Joe Biden had once again guaranteed him NATO protection: “You are part of the North Atlantic Alliance, you are our strategic partner, we act together.”
Strengthening Polish defence capabilities
Poland’s defence is also to be bolstered by a new Polish military programming law currently being prepared: “I strongly believe that after the [meeting of the] National Security Council, [this law] will be quickly passed by the Polish Parliament, because everyone understands the need for it. Over the next few years
it will lead to a significant strengthening of our military potential so that we will be able to deter a potential adversary as much as possible through our own means,
for that is what it is all about (…) It is not about getting Polish soldiers to fight, but about them having such tools that no one will dare to attack Poland. (…) What matters most is what we will have at our own disposal, and assistance only when we really need it.”
Welcoming all refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine
Andrzej Duda was also keen to emphasise the attitude of Ukrainian refugees who have been arriving in Poland since 24 February, some of whom he has met personally. As Duda emphasized, they “are mostly women with children”, as men aged 18 to 60 years are not allowed to leave Ukraine, and those living in Poland are even returning to their homeland to take part in the resistance effort against the Russian invasion: “[These people] want to work, which also means paying taxes (…).
They are not people who have demands and expectations, but they are people who want to give something of themselves,
who have come here and want to be with us, live with us, and work with us.”
The Polish president also referred to allegations made in some media outlets according to which some non-Ukrainian refugees are supposedly being treated differently by the Polish authorities, saying:
“Whatever country they come from, everyone gets the same help, everyone is experiencing the same conditions,
we are able to meet the same requests within the limits of our capacity; i.e., to provide them with transportation to a place in a given province, with transportation by buses being organised from our reception points at the border.”