Poland’s president told Ukrainian lawmakers that “only Ukraine has the right to decide on its future,” in a speech that was the first in-person speech by a foreign head of state in Ukraine’s parliament since the Russian invasion.
“Nothing about you without you,” Andrzej Duda told the assembly in kyiv on Sunday, as he criticized “worrying voices” that have been calling on Ukraine to make concessions to end the war.
Duda received a standing ovation and photos posted on Twitter it showed him hugging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Poland has hosted some 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees and supports Ukraine’s bid to join the EU.
Duda’s comments came as Ukraine said it would reject a ceasefire and not cede territory to Russia. In an interview with Reuters, Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said concessions would be counterproductive and would only encourage Russia to hit harder.
“The war will not stop [after any concessions]. It will just be put on pause for some time,” the presidential adviser said.
“After a while, with renewed intensity, the Russians will develop their weapons, manpower and work on their mistakes. … And they will start a new offensive, even bloodier and on a large scale,” he said.
After defeating the last pockets of resistance in Mariupol, Russia has been intensifying its offensive in the eastern Donbas region. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed to have struck targets in the east and south with air and artillery strikes.
Zelenskyy is expected to address attendees at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos on Monday. The war in Ukraine and the impact of economic sanctions against Russia will dominate the gathering of the global business elite. Business and political leaders will also discuss energy markets and the risk of famine in poorer countries dependent on Ukrainian exports.
Russian oligarchs and sanctioned individuals have been barred from the World Economic Forum, a move that hit the organization’s budget hard.