11:26 GMT +324 July 2019
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    Poland's President Andrzej Duda (R) and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko inspect honour guards during a welcoming ceremony in Kiev, Ukraine December 15, 2015

    Poles Disapprove of 'Being Drawn Into Ukrainian Conflict'

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    On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda to discuss regional issues and cooperation. In an interview with Sputnik, political expert Bohdan Pietka said he was very surprised about Duda's visit to Ukraine.

    Ukrainian authorities organized a large-scale military parade in Kiev dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the country's independence, celebrated on August 24. Although this year's Independence Day celebrations featured a massive military parade, featuring about 200 pieces of military equipment making their way through the center of Kiev, the event was not attended by any representatives of the international community, with the exception of Poland.

    "I was very surprised about the visit itself, because, besides Andrzej Duda, no leader of a foreign country came to Kiev on August 24!" Pietka told Sputnik. "Since Western leaders didn't arrive in Kiev for celebrations, it means that Ukraine is becoming a big problem for the West. The West made it clear that Ukraine's hopes to join the EU and NATO are illusory. Ukraine scares [Western countries] away by the continuing slump of its economy, while at the same time the prospect of upcoming riots and social upheaval is growing," he added.

    In June 2014, Kiev and Brussels signed an association agreement opening the way for Ukraine's integration into the bloc. In order to liberalize the visa regime, Kiev is required to tighten anti-corruption policy, reform border controls and issue biometric ID-cards to its citizens. However, the Ukrainian government has not met all necessary requirements, with the issue of visa liberation still being debated in the EU.

    Poroshenko revealed that his negotiations with Duda focused on prospects of broader bilateral cooperation and called for more investment in the Ukrainian economy. However, such kind of cooperation has not been met with excitement by the Polish public.

    "Many Poles don't like that their country is being more and more drawn into the conflict in Ukraine, that the government is doing everything to strengthen economic and political sanctions against Russia. This has caused disapproval of a large part of Polish society. Our people also don't like the loans which go from RP's financial funds to Ukraine as part of economic assistance, while their scale remains unknown. These loans are going to Kiev, even from the reserves of the Polish National Bank! And our society doesn't like this at all," Pietka stated.

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