On Monday, leaders from Poland and Ukraine promised to strengthen their partnership in response to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. They set aside any disagreements over Poland’s recent obstruction of Ukrainian trucks attempting to enter the European Union.
During his initial trip to Kyiv, recently appointed Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk referred to Ukraine’s efforts to defend against the Russian invasion as a “conflict” between moral principles. He also declared that Poland is committed to supporting Ukraine’s success in this battle.
Tusk stated that the safety of both the Polish nation and state is at risk in this battle.
The relationship between the two nations deteriorated in recent months as a result of Polish roadblocks preventing Ukrainian trucks from crossing the border.
The Polish truck drivers implemented a blockade from November until recently, in opposition to Ukrainian truck drivers being allowed entry into the EU without permits.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the EU decided to temporarily suspend the permits system. However, Polish truckers are now advocating for its reintroduction, citing a decrease in their earnings.
The truck drivers reached a decision last week to halt their demonstrations until March 1st.
“I acknowledge the gravity of the circumstances that have brought about this situation, however, I would like to emphasize the severity of the danger our nations are facing,” stated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a press conference with Tusk.
The two leaders praised the idea of working together to produce arms. Zelenskyy, on X (formerly known as Twitter), stated that they talked about a new type of collaboration focused on buying larger quantities of weapons for Ukraine. No further information was given.
Last week, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski announced that Poland’s new government is considering ways to provide additional ammunition and military equipment to Ukraine as part of a new aid package.
Tusk’s surprise trip to Kyiv coincides with Ukraine’s Unity Day, commemorating the unification in 1919 of western and eastern Ukraine, which has faced numerous invasions over its long history.
Zelensky commemorated the occasion by approving a decree that grants dual citizenship to individuals of Ukrainian descent and their descendants from any country except Russia.
In recent weeks, numerous European leaders, including Tusk, have visited Kyiv in order to provide reassurance to Ukraine about receiving international assistance. This aid has been difficult for its key political and military allies to secure.
Zelenskyy criticized the “skeptical” NATO members who are hesitant to allow Ukraine to join the alliance, and stated that his country is actively combatting this doubt.
This year, Kyiv has prioritized gaining control of its airspace and has called on the West to provide additional air defense systems.
On Monday, the Ukrainian military reported that they successfully stopped Russian drone assaults in various regions of the country during the previous night. At the same time, Russian authorities alleged that Ukrainian troops launched a brutal attack in an eastern Ukrainian city under Russian control.
According to the Ukrainian air force, they successfully shot down eight drones that were sent by Russia. The drones were flying over the regions of Mykolaiv, Kherson, and Dnipropetrovsk. It has been confirmed that the drones originated from the southern region of Primorsko-Akhtarsk in Russia.
The Kremlin’s representative, Dmitry Peskov, claimed that Ukraine had utilized careless weapons and targeted civilian structures, resulting in the deaths of at least 27 individuals in Donetsk on Sunday.
On Monday, Peskov stated that Russia is implementing necessary actions in response to a possible Ukrainian assault on a fuel export terminal in the Baltic Sea.
The Ukrainian military has not released any information about either of the attacks.
For almost two years, Russian drone and missile strikes have consistently targeted Ukrainian civilian locations, resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians in the ongoing war initiated by Russia.
The market strike Sunday was one of the deadliest on Russian-controlled Donetsk since Moscow attacked Ukraine in February 2022. Russia claims to have annexed the territory; a move condemned as illegal by most countries in the U.N. General Assembly.
In response to inquiries from the media regarding the assault, U.N. representative Stephane Dujarric released a statement on Sunday expressing the secretary-general’s strong condemnation of all assaults on non-combatants and non-military facilities. This includes the attack on Donetsk, Ukraine.
Russia is still vigilant for potential drone attacks on its infrastructure, as its second-largest natural gas company Novatek announced on Sunday that it had to temporarily halt operations at a major fuel export terminal in the Baltic Sea due to a fire caused by a reported drone attack by Ukrainian media.
The vast Ust-Luga facility, situated on the Gulf of Finland near the Estonian border and approximately 170 kilometers west of St. Petersburg, transports oil and gas commodities to global markets.
The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters contributed to the material used in this report.