Japan’s Kishida pledges aid for Ukraine-backing Poland
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivers a speech at his official residence in Tokyo Thursday, July 14, 2022. (Zhang Xiaoyu/Pool Photo via AP)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister pledged Wednesday to provide Poland with development support to help the European country assist neighbouring Ukraine as it defends itself from Russia’s invasion.

Polish Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Warsaw a day after Kishida made a surprise visit to Kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“Bearing in mind the increasing burden on Poland due to the prolonged invasion of Ukraine,” Kishida said Japan would offer Poland assistance to support its role and is looking to “vigorously build up” projects.

Japan usually provides the type of promised aid to developing countries, which Poland is no longer, but the Japanese government is making a special exception, he said.

Kishida said it was crucial for like-minded countries such as Japan and Poland, to remain united in their support for Ukraine and in furthering sanctions against Russia.

During a joint news conference with Kishida, Morawiecki said that at the time when a “new geo-political order” was emerging, both countries understood the “threat to world peace coming from Russia’s imperialism.”

Poland has supplied military, humanitarian and political support to Ukraine during the war that started 13 months ago.

Kishida, who is preparing to chair a Group of Seven summit in May, said Japan would stress the need for continued cooperation with Poland and for international backing for Ukraine.

Following talks with Morawiecki that went beyond their planned 30 minutes, Kishida also said that Japan was interested in building closer ties with regional alliances in central and eastern Europe, such as the nine NATO eastern flank members, the Visegrad Group that includes Poland, The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, and countries participating in the Three Seas economic initiative.

Kishida later met later with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Kishida visited Ukraine on Tuesday while Chinese leader President Xi Jinping held talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two visits showing how various countries are lining up behind Moscow or Kyiv.

Morawiecki said the Chinese leader’s visit to Moscow raised “anxiety.”

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