“We will continue to support our sisters and brothers from Ukraine,” said Rafał Trzakowski, Mayor of Warsaw during a demonstration of solidarity with Ukrainian society, held today at Defilad Square in Warsaw. On the occasion, the Palace of Culture & Science was illuminated in yellow and blue – the national colours of Ukraine.
We have always supported strong and independent Ukraine. Poland was the first country to acknowledge Ukraine’s independence. We have been building the Eastern Partnership, and we supported Ukraine’s efforts during the Orange Revolution, and we will always stand beside independent, strong and free Ukraine,” stressed Rafał Trzaskowski. “It happens that in a few days we will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Professor Władysław Bartoszewski’s birthday, who used to say that the security of Poland depended on how strong independent Ukraine was, he added.
The Mayor of Warsaw has also asserted that the residents of Ukraine may count on the capital city of Poland if a conflict occurs.
I was in Kiev two days ago, and I talked to a lot of Ukrainians; I spoke to the Mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, and told him that we were ready to provide support as local government representatives, both at the European level, as we invited Kiev to take part in the Pact of Free Cities, but also as Polish local authorities, assisting partner cities, and helping Kiev, said Rafał Trzaskowski.
The organisers of the demonstration in the face of the threat of Russian aggression against Ukraine include Ukrainian diaspora organisations (Fundacja Nasz Wybór - “Our Choice” Foundation, Ukraiński Dom - Ukrainian House), and social organisations (Akcja Demokracja - Democracy Campaign, KOD - Committee for the Protection of Democracy, Obywatele RP - Citizens of Poland, and Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet - All-Poland Women's Strike). In addition to Mayor Trzaskowski, the event also featured Ukrainian Ambassador Andrii Deshchytsia, Jana Shostak, an activists and artist, leaders of such parties as the Civic Coalition, Poland 2050, the Left, and the Polish People's Party, as well as the representatives of the Warsaw City Council.
The idea to organise a rally of solidarity with Ukraine simultaneously came from non-governmental organisations, the Democracy Campaign, “Our Choice” Foundation and the Ukrainian House in Warsaw, from the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, and Member of Parliament from Warsaw, Michał Szczerba. The Mayor of Warsaw went to Kiev on Tuesday to meet the Mayor of the city. On Wednesday, Michał Szczerba attended a solidarity parliamentary mission at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
The Warsaw City Council supports Ukraine
The Warsaw City Council also expressed its position today. “The escalation of tension we are dealing with at the moment is a source of great concern for the safety of Ukrainian citizens and peace in Europe. We cannot stay indifferent to the threat our neighbours are facing,” as we can read in the Council's document.
The Warsaw City Council has expressed its solidarity with the Ukrainian nation. Kiev is a free city, and Ukraine is an independent state. The residents of Kiev, and the citizens of Ukraine have the right to build their future on such fundamental values as independence, sovereignty, and security. To our friend in Kiev, and in all Ukraine, we are sending a clear message of unity. We are with you! - this is how Magdalena Roguska, Deputy Chairperson of the City Council justified the position.