Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and aid to Ukrainian war refugees dominated Wednesday’s talks in Prague between Polish and Czech presidents Andrzej Duda and Milos Zeman.
After the talks, Duda said he was grateful to Zeman for calling Russia’s attack on Ukraine “an act of aggression on a free, independent country.”
Duda stressed that the Russia-Ukraine conflict has created a situation unseen since the fall of communism in 1989.
“Ever since our countries, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Poland, regained their freedom in 1989, there has never been an armed attack on such a scale… An attack on an independent, free country, for no apparent reason and without warning,” Duda said at a press conference with Zeman.
Thanking the Czech president for his condemnation of Russia’s aggression, Duda pointed out that, like Poland, the Czech Republic was sending aid to Ukraine and has joined the international community’s efforts to halt Russia.
Zeman added that the Ukraine conflict has made Poland the main defender of European values and a hub for aid to Ukraine.
According to the Polish president, both Poland and the Czech Republic, which have also taken in refugees, should be receiving aid from the EU. “I find it absolutely incomprehensible that European institutions are not forwarding such aid to our countries,” Duda said.
Poland has admitted nearly three million Ukrainian refugees since the outbreak of the conflict on February 24, while the Czech Republic has admitted over 300,000.