The Lithuanian president on Monday took a firm stand against the annexation of Crimea by Ukraine in 2014 and the Kremlin’s recent military action against its neighbors in Eastern Europe.
Gitanas Nauseda was in Warsaw for a remote session of the parliaments of Poland and Lithuania, marking the 230th anniversary of their joint constitution, the first such written democratic document in Europe, Associated Press reports.
“Lithuania will never recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and will take steps to end the actual occupation of part of eastern Ukraine,” Naudeda said. “Whatever happens, we cannot allow Ukraine to go back in time.”
He also said that Lithuania supports the pursuit of freedom in Belarus and will never allow it to be influenced by Moscow.
“There is no room in 21
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and the presidents of Latvia and Estonia were also among the guests at the ceremonies in Warsaw.
For more information from the Associated Press, see below.
During a later televised debate between the presidents, Polish Andrzej Duda assured Zelenski that he also saw Warsaw that Russia’s actions in Ukraine “should not be accepted.”
Zelensky, who is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken this week in Kiev, said the war against Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine meant “there is a war in Europe”.
“No one will give up our sovereignty today. We are fighting … because we want to be free,” Zelenski said.
After individual talks with Duda, Zelensky thanked Poland for its strong support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and for condemning the annexation of Crimea.
Zelensky said he invited Duda to ceremonies in August marking Ukraine’s 30th anniversary of independence and a side meeting of state leaders to discuss “Crimea’s deoccupation.”
During Monday’s presidential debate on the European Union and the pandemic, Zelensky said Ukraine, which is one day seeking to join the club, said it had not yet received any of the promised vaccines against COVID-19 from the EU.
He said only 1 million people in his nation out of more than 44 million were immunized.
The five presidents signed a declaration stressing that solidarity between nations is the foundation for peace, stability and development in today’s world.
Poland’s 1791 constitution aims to strengthen its political system and the rule of law and to protect it against aggression by neighboring powers, including Russia.
Historians claim that the efforts came too late and failed to avoid the annexations of the Russian, Prussian and Austrian empires, which in 1795 erased Poland from maps for more than a century.
During the 18th century constitution, Poland and neighboring Lithuania were one state.