Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his Polish counterpart President Andrzej Duda have met in Kharkiv to discuss security issues as Warsaw prepares for a two-year role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
The meeting between the two neighboring heads of state took place at Kharkiv’s five-star Premier Palace Hotel. This is not the first time Oleksandr Yaroslavsky’s showpiece venue has hosted a presidential meeting – in June 2017, President Poroshenko met Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite at the Premier Palace Hotel, which was itself originally designed to host UEFA chiefs and other visiting bigwigs during Kharkiv’s stint as a Euro 2012 host city.
As well as addressing regional security issues related to the ongoing Russian hybrid war in eastern Ukraine, the Polish President’s visit to Kharkiv also allowed Duda to pay tribute at a memorial in the city to Polish soldiers killed by Stalin’s NKVD security services during the Soviet era. “This visit includes several aspects including my personal desire to visit the Polish graves in Kharkiv. This is an important issue for me personally as well as in my role as President of Poland. The second focus of the visit is preparations for Poland’s role on the UN Security Council, where Ukraine will be a key theme,” commented President Duda.
While in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian and Polish presidents also held a working meeting with OSCE monitoring mission observers and representatives of the United Nations Development Program in order to discuss security policy and the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine.