President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda.
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Poland’s President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday described Ukraine’s refusal to cede ground to Russia in prospective peace talks as “perfectly understandable.”
Speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Duda restated his support for his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy following stunted peace formula talks to which Russia was not party.
“It’s no wonder that the Ukrainian authorities won’t speak to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin today because they were clear from the start,” Duda told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick.
“To me, as the president of Poland, it’s perfectly understandable. It’s clear,” he said.
A meeting of national security advisors on Sunday made little headway in resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict after Zelenskyy’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak reiterated Kyiv’s resolute commitment to its 10-point peace formula.
Included in its stipulations are the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, including land seized during Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, as well as the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine.
Duda, one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies and a border neighbor, commended Kyiv’s unwavering position since the onset of the war, and said that the conflict would only end with Moscow’s full retreat. Russia, for its part, has objected to such demands.
“They attacked an independent sovereign nation, so I’m not surprised president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and those who work with him are clear about the end of the war,” Duda said.
“The war will come to an end when we’ve driven Russians out of all Ukrainian occupied territories. For me this is obvious,” he added.
Duda’s comments were mirrored by Latvia’s President Edgars Rinkēvičs, who said that he believed the West needed to change tack over its support for Ukraine.
Rinkēvičs said Ukraine’s allies should switch from backing Kyiv against the Russian onslaught for “as long as it is necessary” to a strategy that supports the eastern European country “to its victory.”
“All those voices who are saying that we probably should have some kind of political process, talks or discussions, they somehow don’t hear what Mr. Putin is saying,” Rinkēvičs told CNBC Tuesday.
“Mr. Putin is saying that he is ready to fight this war until the end,” he continued. “I read that he is actually questioning the statehood of Ukraine. And if he is questioning the statehood of Ukraine then the big question is, what’s next?”
Rinkēvičs said he expected “common sense to prevail” regardless of the political processes not just in the U.S., but also across Europe, citing the upcoming European Parliament elections.