Polish, Czech, Slovenian PMs arrive in Kyiv

Visit organised in agreement with European Council chief Charles Michel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.



Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, left, and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell attend a round table meeting in France to discuss how to help Ukraine in its war with Russia. – AP
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, left, and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell attend a round table meeting in France to discuss how to help Ukraine in its war with Russia. – AP

By AFP

Published: Tue 15 Mar 2022, 11:33 PM

The Polish, Czech and Slovenian prime ministers arrived in Kyiv by train on Tuesday, the first visit by foreign leaders to Ukraine's besieged capital since Russia the attack last month.

"We have to halt this tragedy unfolding in the East as quickly as possible," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a post on Facebook announcing their arrival.

Ukraine had the "unequivocal support" of the European Union, he added.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal confirmed their arrival in a post on Twitter, saluting "the courage of true friends of Ukraine".

Morawiecki, Czech premier Petr Fiala and Slovenia's Prime Minister Janez Jansa, are visiting as "representatives" of the European Union, said an early statement from the Polish government.

They are due to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, it added.

The visit comes as Russia pummels targets across Ukraine including Kyiv, which has nearly been encircled by Moscow's troops, and as Russia and Ukraine are due to resume talks to end the nearly three-week war.

"In such crucial times for the world, it is our duty to be in the place where history is being made," Morawiecki said in a Facebook post earlier Tuesday.

"Because this is not about us, it is about the future of our children who deserve to live in a world free from tyranny," he said.

The government statement said that the visit had been organised "in agreement" with European Council chief Charles Michel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

"The purpose of the visit is to confirm the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and to present a broad package of support for the Ukrainian state and society," the statement said.

The trio is accompanied by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's populist right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, and will also meet the Ukrainian premier Shmyhal.

Shmyhal, on Twitter, said their talks would focus on support for Ukraine and "strengthening sanctions against the Russian aggression".


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