Warsaw has been one of Ukraine’s most important allies since Russia invaded the country in 2022 and has said Ukraine must regain control of all its territory to deter Moscow from further aggression.
Duda also emphasized this position on Friday, February 2, in an interview with “YouTube” channel “Kanał Zero”.
But when asked if he believed Ukraine would really be able to retake Crimea, he said: “It’s hard for me to answer that question. I don’t know if [Ukraina] will get back Crimea, but I believe it will get back Donetsk and Luhansk.”
He said the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, was “a special place … also for historical reasons. Because actually, if we look historically, it was mostly in Russian hands.”
Duda’s comments caused outrage in Ukraine and also drew condemnation domestically.
On Saturday, February 3, Duda tried to diffuse the controversy by announcing on the “X” website that his “action and position regarding Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine has been and is clear from day one.”
He added: “Russia’s attack on Ukraine and its occupation of internationally recognized Ukrainian territories, including Crimea, is a crime… We all stand shoulder to shoulder for a free, sovereign and independent Ukraine against aggression and brutal imperialism!”