During his visit to Vilnius, President Andrzej Duda said at a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda that he hoped there would soon be a summit involving the Polish, Ukrainian and Lithuanian heads of state
Presidents Duda and Nausėda met during the commemoration of the 161st anniversary of the 1863 January Uprising against the Russians, and their meeting concentrated on security issues in the context of the war in Ukraine.
Duda signaled that he was hopeful that the two would meet again, this time with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Lublin Triangle format to discuss support for Ukraine ahead of the jubilee NATO summit in Washington D.C. The Lublin Triangle is a form of security cooperation between Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania set up in 2020 and focused on Ukrainian Euroatlantic ambitions.
“It is unfortunate, in a sense, our tradition to have to fight for freedom from the Russian invader,” Duda said. He also emphasized his and the Lithuanian president’s unity in support of NATO.
“President Nausėda and I both expressed satisfaction at the fact that large-scale NATO exercises will take place in our part of Europe very soon,” he said. Duda added that the Steadfast Defender 2024 exercises will show preparedness and readiness to fight off potential aggression as well as the degree of involvement of NATO allies, their presence in Central and Eastern Europe, the speed of their reaction, and that the alliance is in full effect.
He also said that regardless of these initiatives, the presidents would like to co-organize their own exercises to strengthen Polish and Lithuanian soldiers.
“The Suwalki Gap is an area that needs special monitoring and fortification today; this is something we have been working on together for years,” Duda said.