Ladies and Gentlemen,
Exactly one month ago, on February 24, Russia embarked on armed aggression against independent and democratic Ukraine. The Ukrainian army and the nation put up fierce resistance to invaders, heroically standing up for their home country. Our neighbors led by President Volodymyr Zelensky explain to the whole world the true meaning of the words “courage” and “bravery”.
The Russian aggression has produced in effect the greatest security crisis in the world since the end of World War 2. As President of the Republic of Poland, I take actions in the international arena to enhance Poland’s security and to secure even greater support to fighting Ukraine. Today’s Extraordinary Summit of the North Atlantic Alliance in Brussels, attended by US President Joe Biden, was dedicated to these problems. Poland takes an unequivocal stance here: we do believe that the new strategic concept of NATO must take into account the changes resulting from the Russian aggression on Ukraine. What is needed is the even greater engagement of the Alliance in our region, equally in terms of soldiers deployed as well as infrastructure. Today’s Summit is yet another step leading to the reinforcement of NATO’s eastern flank.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Tomorrow begins in Poland a two–day visit of the President of the United States of America Joe Biden. The presence of the American leader in our country in those trying days is a very important sign corroborating the strategic nature of Polish American relations. Polish–American alliance is strong and solid, no matter who the incumbent in the White House is, no matter who is at the helm in Poland. It is solid since it is underpinned by our shared values: freedom and democracy. In the face of a genuine threat, we can see in all clarity that strong American leadership is needed in the world. We see how important the presence and engagement of the United States in Europe are. Secure Poland and secure Europe need more of America: equally in military dimension and in the economic sense. These will be the topics I will raise in my talks with the United States President.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today is a special occasion for yet another reason. On March 24, we celebrate the National Day of Remembrance of Poles Rescuing Jews. This day commemorates those people who in the darkest days of the Shoah featured true humanity. It commemorates equally those nameless and also those whom we know by their names. Such as the Ulm family who was brutally murdered by the German henchmen in an act of punishment for rescuing Jews, such as cavalry captain Witold Pilecki who volunteered to allow himself to be captured and sent to the Auschwitz extermination camp, such as Jan Karski, the emissary of the Polish underground state who did his best to make the whole world know the true nature of the Holocaust. Such as Irena Sendlerowa who rescued thousands of Jewish children. May the memory of the heroism of the Polish people in World War 2 inspire the sense of pride in us, may it also serve as an inspiration for us in these difficult times as the nightmare of war looms again over Europe. Day in day out, Russian bombs and shells are falling on residential houses, hospitals, and schools. More than 3.5 million Ukrainian citizens have been forced to leave their home country, they have become refugees. More than 2 million have made it to Poland, escaping the war. These are predominantly women and children. In the course of the last month, Poland has taken in more refugees than the entire European Union at the height of the migration crisis 2015. As a state and as a society, we are passing with flying colors the test of genuine solidarity. The challenge that we are confronted with has no precedent. This is why we, the authorities of the Republic of Poland, are discussing very tangible ways in which the European Union as well as individual states and international organizations can lend support to Poland. The world looks with admiration at Poland, at millions of the Polish people as they actively engage in providing aid to the refugees. State leaders and heads of international organizations to whom I talk highly commend our attitude and are thankful for what we are doing. That is why as President of the Republic of Poland I would like to say to all of you, Ladies and Gentlemen: thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great good that you do. You are magnificent!
Long live free, independent, and democratic Ukraine!
Long live Poland!
This statement was published on the website of the President of Poland here: