The first head of state to address the Ukrainian parliament since the Russian invasion on February 24, the Polish president, whose speech was interrupted by several standing ovations, promised that he would not relax his efforts “until the Ukraine is not a member of the European Union”.

“We must respect” the peoples who “shed their blood” to belong to Europe, “even if the situation is complicated, even if there are doubts. I have no doubt that the European Union will make a such a gesture” towards Ukraine, he underlined during a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

These declarations contrast with those, at the same time, of the French Minister Delegate for European Affairs Clément Beaune, for whom Ukraine’s accession to the EU will take “probably 15 or 20 years”.

The head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba denounced Thursday a “second-class treatment” from “certain capitals” about the Ukrainian candidacy to join the EU.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said earlier that he was not in favor of granting Ukraine a “shortcut” to EU membership.

– No concessions to Putin –

“The adoption of a decision on Ukraine’s EU candidate status at the Council of Europe on June 24 is of extreme importance, above all psychological and political,” Mr. Duda, whose country is Ukraine’s main supporter in the EU and hosts the largest number of Ukrainian refugees.

In front of the Ukrainian deputies, he regretted that “voices have recently been raised in Europe to ask that Ukraine accept certain requests (from Russian President Vladimir) Putin”.

“After Boutcha, Borodianka, Mariupol, there can no longer be business as usual with Russia,” he said.

Hundreds of civilian corpses were discovered in Boutcha and Borodianka, towns near kyiv occupied and then abandoned by the Russian army.

The city of Mariupol, in the south-east of Ukraine, is nothing more than ruins after three months of siege and incessant bombardments which have killed at least 20,000 civilians, according to the Ukrainian authorities.

“An honest world cannot return to the agenda forgetting the crimes, the aggression, the trampled fundamental rights”, added the Polish president.

“If for their own peace, economic interests or political ambitions”, Western countries “sacrifice Ukraine, even one centimeter of its territory or a piece of its sovereignty, it will be a great blow to the Ukrainian people, but also to the entire Western community,” warned Mr. Duda.

“Only Ukraine has the right to decide its future (…) There can be no negotiations or decisions made behind Ukraine’s back. Nothing about you without you. Absolutely! It’s a rule inflexible. You have to adhere to it,” he insisted.

“I thank you for defending Europe against the invasion of the barbarians and the new Russian imperialism”, he said, considering that “Russia had not achieved any of its strategic objectives” in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president for his part hailed in front of the deputies “a historic moment”, “a historic union between the Ukrainian and Polish peoples”.

“Poland plays an important role in our future, in our common future within the European Union,” he said. If Ukraine becomes a member of the EU, “it will be thanks to Poland”.