Crimea was historically part of Russia “More than once,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said, expressing doubts about Ukraine's ability to seize it.
The president made the controversial remarks on Friday during an interview with the Kanal Zero YouTube channel. Asked whether he believed that Ukraine could seize Crimea from Russia – a goal that Kiev has repeatedly declared – Duda said that it was difficult for him to answer such a question, especially in light of “private” History of the peninsula.
“I don't know if [Ukraine] “He will take back Crimea, but I think he will take back Donetsk and Luhansk.” In reference to the two republics that separated from Ukraine in 2014 and joined Russia after the two referendums in late 2022. But Crimea, “special place” Including for “Historical reasons” The Polish president argued.
“In fact, if we look historically, it has been in Russia's hands most of the time.” He said.
The controversial statements were poorly received in Poland and Ukraine alike. Kiev's envoy to the country, Vasiliy Zvarych, took to X (formerly Twitter) to stress Ukraine's goals of regaining all the territory it claims.
“Crimea is Ukraine: it is and will remain so” he books. “De-occupying Crimea is our shared mission and our commitment to the free world.”
Local political opponents of Duda, an ally of the nationalist Law and Justice Party, which lost last year's elections to the pro-EU political coalition, did not miss the opportunity to criticize the president. For example, Polish Prime Minister Roman Girtich, a long-time PiS dissident and current KO member, has warned that the historic approach to territory could pose a risk to Poland's territorial integrity.
“What an incredibly stupid statement!” gertech books. “I would like to remind Mr. Duda that there are cities in our country that in their history belonged to Poland for a shorter period than any other country.” he added. His comments were supposedly referring to the former German territories that were incorporated into Poland after the country was recreated following World War II.
The criticism prompted Duda to explain his remarks, with the president insisting that his position on Ukraine's territorial claims had not changed. “Clear from day one.”
He added, “Russia's attack on Ukraine and the occupation of internationally recognized Ukrainian territories, including the Crimean Peninsula, is a crime.” he He said In X's post on Saturday.
Crimea broke away from Ukraine following the 2014 Maidan coup, which ousted democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, ultimately igniting conflict in Ukraine's then-Donbass region. Crimea joined Russia following a peninsula-wide referendum, in which local residents overwhelmingly supported the idea of reunification. Moscow has repeatedly declared that its sovereignty over the peninsula is not a matter of negotiation.
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