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Polish president says he doesn’t know if Ukraine can retake Crimea – Times of India

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WARSAW: Poland‘s president said he was unsure if Ukraine would be able to regain control over Russian-occupied Crimea but believed it could retake Donetsk and Luhansk, in comments that drew criticism from politicians from the ruling coalition.
Warsaw has been one of Kyiv’s staunchest supporters since Russia invaded the country in 2022 and has said Ukraine must regain control over all of its territory in order to deter Moscow from further aggression.
President Andrzej Duda reiterated this position during an interview on YouTube channel Kanal Zero late on Friday. However, when asked if he believed Ukraine would really be able to retake Crimea, he said, “It is hard for me to answer that question.
“I don’t know if (Ukraine) will regain Crimea, but I believe it will regain Donetsk and Luhansk,” he said.
He said the Crimean peninusla, which Russia seized in 2014, eight years before launching its full-scale invasion, “is a special place… also for historical reasons. Because in fact, if we look historically, it was in Russia’s hands for most of the time.”
Parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine were also taken by Moscow-backed forces in 2014 and have been embattled during the course of the current war, unlike Crimea.
Ukraine has vowed to recover every inch of its territory including Crimea in the war with Russia.
Duda’s remarks were criticised by lawmakers from Poland’s ruling pro-European coalition, who are in a different political camp to the president.
The president is an ally of the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party which lost power December after failing to build a coalition following the loss of its majority in an October election.
“I would like to remind Mr Duda that there are cities in our country that in their history belonged to Poland for a shorter time than to another country,” Roman Giertych, a lawmaker from the largest grouping in the government, Civic Coalition (KO), wrote on social media platform X.
“What an incredibly stupid statement!”
PiS lawmaker Radoslaw Fogiel said such criticism of Duda’s words was unfounded. “He answered directly to the question about Ukraine regaining Crimea by saying that he didn’t know,” Fogiel wrote on X.

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