Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Sunday a “historic” joint customs control with Poland, stressing that “the unity of Ukrainians and Poles is a constant that no one will break”.
“A solution has been found that revolutionizes order on our border,” Zelensky said during his nightly video address. “We are introducing joint customs control with Poland. This will significantly speed up border procedures. This will remove most corruption risks. But it is also the beginning of our integration into the common customs area of the European Union. historical process.”
Zelensky’s comments followed Polish President Andrzej Duda’s visit to Kyiv earlier in the day. Duda also underlined the unity between the two countries by becoming the first foreign leader since the Russian invasion to address Ukraine’s parliament, the Rada.
Zelensky described Ukrainian-Polish relations as “finally on a completely clean and sincere basis, without any quarrels or the legacy of old conflicts. This is an achievement – the historic achievement of our people. And I want brotherhood among Ukrainians and the Poles will be preserved forever. As I spoke to the deputies today, our unity of Ukrainians and Poles is a constant that no one will break.”
Zelensky also said he signed a decree establishing a new award “to thank the cities of partner countries that have helped the most. And Rzeszow became the first such city. The saving city. It’s fair to say.”
The Ukrainian leader also announced the preparation of a draft law which will mirror the law adopted in Poland on Ukrainian citizens who have sought refuge in Poland and who “have legally had the same opportunities as Poles”.
Nearly 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees have entered Poland since the Russian invasion in February, making it by far the largest host country for people fleeing the country, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for the refugees.
“It will be the right move to pass such a law in Ukraine,” Zelensky said. “Let’s make sure that Polish citizens never have to resort to such a law. But let’s show our gratitude and respect.
The Ukrainian leader also said he had spoken with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and “discussed ways to increase the volume of our exports, especially agricultural products. As well as the volume of fuel imports to Ukraine”.