Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Announces Joint Customs Control with Poland

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on May 22 a “historic” joint customs control with Poland.

“A decision has been reached that is revolutionizing the order on our border. We are introducing joint customs control with Poland,” Zelensky announced in his daily video address.

“This will significantly speed up border procedures. It will remove most of the corruption risks. But it is also the beginning of our integration into the common customs space of the European Union. That is a truly historical process,” Zelensky added.

The announcement came shortly after Polish President Andrzej Duda became the first foreign leader to address the Ukrainian Parliament since the Russian invasion.

“A historic moment is reshaping our relations… Now is the time for a new Polish-Ukrainian neighborhood agreement — which takes into account everything we have built in our relations in recent months,” Duda said, as quoted by website VisitUkraine.

“The Polish-Ukrainian border must unite, not divide, that must be our great goal,” Duda added.

About 3.4 million Ukrainian refugees have entered Poland since the Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February, making it the single largest host nation for people fleeing Ukraine so far, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Zelensky also announced the preparations of a bill that would mirror the law passed in Poland on Ukrainian refugees who “have been legally given the same opportunities as Poles.”

“It will be the right gesture to pass such a law in Ukraine. Let it be so that the citizens of Poland will never have to use such a law. But let us show our gratitude and our respect,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky also signed a decree introducing a new award “to thank cities of partner countries that have helped the most” in the war.

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