Poland’s president says it’s ‘hard to deny’ genocide in Ukraine after footage of civilians killed emerges
“It’s hard to deny that, of course. It’s a crime that meets the hallmarks of genocide, especially if you look at the context of the various conversations that are going on,” Duda told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview. exclusive to Warsaw. , Poland.
Duda said Russian propaganda about Moscow’s goal of “denazifying” Ukraine shows the country was looking for a false pretext “in order to carry out a massacre”.
“The fact that civilian inhabitants of Ukraine are being killed best demonstrates the purpose of [the] The Russian invasion is,” he said through a translator. “The purpose of this invasion is simply to extinguish the Ukrainian nation.”
Duda, who was first elected president of Poland in 2015 and has served in three US administrations, leads the country as he plays a key role in supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia, grapples with a influx of Ukrainian refugees, lobbied for new sanctions on Russia and supplied arms to Ukraine.
Millions of Ukrainians have crossed the country’s border into Poland. As a member of the NATO alliance, Poland has been one of the countries where US and NATO troops have deployed to bolster NATO’s eastern flank to deter Russia.
There were also challenges. Ukraine sought Polish MiG-29 fighter jets to help it in its fight against Russia, but efforts to bring the planes to Ukraine failed after Poland publicly offered to supply them to the United States via a German air base to ship them to Ukraine. The United States said such a plan was not feasible and the planes were not sent.
In the interview, Duda questioned the usefulness of diplomatic efforts with Russia at this stage of the conflict. He said he was not surprised at the criticism Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki leveled at French President Emmanuel Macron this week, when Morawiecki said: “Nobody negotiated with Hitler.”
“Dialogue with Russia makes no sense,” Duda said. “You have to present very tough conditions to Vladimir Putin. You have to say, ‘If you don’t meet these conditions, we have nothing to discuss.’ We are going to give decisive support to Ukraine, we are going to strengthen the sanctions regime, because if you conduct a dialogue that does not lead to anything, it is just a game to buy Russia time.”
As part of these conditions, Duda called for additional sanctions against Russia and its energy sector, lamenting Europe’s dependence on Russian energy which has continued even as Crippling sanctions have been enacted in other sectors.
“The sanctions regime should be strengthened. I have no doubts about that,” Duda said. “It’s of course a very complex task. … The problem though is that for some countries, well, it’s fundamental for them.”
Duda noted that Poland opposes the creation of gas pipelines between Russia and Germany, saying they are “political projects” designed to bypass Poland and the Baltic countries. He called for the dismantling of the new Nord Stream II gas pipeline.
“Russia is not just blackmailing Germany, right now Russia is blackmailing, in fact, all of Europe,” Duda said. “The fact that we are saying that it is impossible to impose an embargo on Russian gas, it is not possible to impose an embargo on Russian oil right away.”