25 VIII 2017

Head of the Polish Ministry of National Defense in Kiev

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- Poland is with Ukraine because it defends Europe; Without Ukraine, Europe will not be full - said Minister Antoni Macierewicz during the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kiev on August 24, 2017.
zdjęcie - Head of the Polish Ministry of National Defense in Kiev
Photo: por. Robert Suchy/CO MON

Minister Macierewicz was the guest of the celebrations at the invitation of Ukrainian Defense Minister Gen. Stepan Poltorak and watched a parade of the armed forces of Ukraine and international participants from: Georgia, Canada, Great Britain, Moldova, USA, Lithuania, Poland (detachement of the 21st Rifle Brigade of Podhale, affiliated to the Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade with headquarters in Lublin) and flag detachments from Estonia, Latvia and  Romania.

Head of the Polish Ministry of National Defense in Kiev

On this day in Kiev at the political summit met the heads of defense ministries of the NATO states: the United States, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Turkey, Montenegro and from Moldova and Georgia.

- It is worth noticing that today's ceremony brought together the defense ministers from Estonia to Turkey, so all of NATO's eastern flank plus UK, USA and Canada who all gathered here to make it clear that Ukraine's independence is important to us all -  said Minister Antoni Macierewicz during the press briefing.
- Reconstruction of territorial integrity of Ukraine is absolutely necessary for restoring international order in Europe - added the head of the Ministry of Defense.

The present in Ukraine ministers of defense laid flowers at the Monument to the Victims of the Euromaidan 2014 in Kiev.

Head of the Polish Ministry of National Defense in Kiev
Minister Macierewicz met with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. Also the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense General Stepan Poltorak joined them in the Presidential Palace. After the meeting the ministers of defense held joint press conference, during which the Minister of Defense of Ukraine said:

- I would like to thank Minister Macierewicz for doing everything possible to ensure that the cooperation between our countries is of the highest standard. Thank you for your presence in Ukraine on Independence Day of Ukraine. We are glad that we have a neighbor who, in situations that are difficult for us, is ready to help, to stretch out his hand with help.

Head of the Polish Ministry of National Defense in Kiev

He added: - On 15 August I was in Warsaw for the Feast of the Polish Army on the anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw and I was very impressed with the traditions and history of the Poles and their positive attitude towards Ukraine. At the meeting in Warsaw and today we discussed important issues. The first is the increase of cooperation in the military sphere: joint exercises, training and exchange of experiences. The second important issue is the important cooperation of our armaments industries. The third issue is the future of our common Polish Lithuanian Ukrainian brigade. We have finished forming it. We go to the next stage - joint exercises. And the most important thing we've decided is to go from words to deeds - the general said.

Minister Macierewicz referred to events in Ukraine 26 years ago:
- I want to say clearly that it was a great honor for me and a pleasure to be able to participate in today's Independence Day and watch the parade led by General Poltorak. It happened that 26 years ago, when Ukraine declared its independence, I was Minister of Internal Affairs in the government of Jan Olszewski who was the first to recognize that independence. Today I am Minister of National Defense in the government of Beata Szydlo and I was impressed with the Ukrainian army led by General Poltorak.

Head of the Polish Ministry of National Defense in Kiev

Referring to the results of the visit to Kiev, the head of the Ministry of Defense emphasized: "The speech made by President Poroshenko was very impressive, which I do not hesitate to call historic. I saw with joy the invited guests from the entire eastern flank of NATO from Estonia to Turkey in the presence of US Secretary of Defense James Mattis. I think it would be nice if we could meet in such a format more often. That would be another practical conclusion from today's meeting.

The issue that we have also discussed with President Poroshenko today is the cooperation of our defense industries, where we decided to create mutual organs and executive committees.

President Poroshenko and Minister Poltorak agreed to participate in the exercises of the European Union Battle Group of the Vysehrad Group next year, for which I thank you very much, because this is an important step forward in Ukraine's cooperation with the European Union and Ukraine's participation in the defense activities of the EU, which is very important for Poland - said Minister Macierewicz.

In the capital of Ukraine, the head of the Ministry of Defense also participated in military-related bilateral talks - with the defense minister of the Republic Turkish Nurettin Canikli and the Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis.


***

On August 24, 1991, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed an Act of Independence, which was subsequently approved in the national referendum on December 1, 1991, and on December 2, 1991, Poland became the first country to recognize Ukraine's independence.

On August 14, 2017, at the invitation of National Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, In Poland, the Minister of National Defense of Ukraine, General Stepan Połtorak, visited Poland. Ministers' talks focused on the synergies of defense industries and synergies in training, exercises and military cooperation. Ministers of Poland and Ukraine had also laid flowers on the grave of Gen. Bezruczka.

Poland is the only country that signed a military cooperation agreement with Ukraine (on 2 December 2016).

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