Polish President Andrzej Duda has expressed doubts whether Ukraine will be able to recover the Crimean peninsula occupied by Russia. In an interview on YouTube on Friday evening, Duda reiterated Poland’s official position that Ukraine must regain control over its entire territory. However, when asked if he believed that Ukraine would actually be able to do it, he replied: “That’s a difficult question for me to answer.” He doesn’t know the answer. Crimea, which was occupied by Russia in 2014, is said to be a special place. “After all, historically speaking, it was in Russian hands most of the time.” Duda’s comments caused outrage in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Poland Vasiliy Svarych wrote on the “X” website that Crimea is and will remain a part of Ukraine. Ending the occupation of Crimea is a common task and responsibility of the free world. Ukraine has repeatedly announced its intention to retake all its territory, including Crimea, in a war against Russia.
Andrzej Duda, who is very close to the national conservative party “Law and Justice” (PiS), was also under pressure domestically for his statements. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski emphasized that his country recognizes Ukraine’s independence within its internationally defined borders. Poland has been one of Kyiv’s staunchest supporters since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.