KYIV, Ukraine

Polish President Andrej Duda and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky urged Russia on Monday to end the annexation of Crimean Peninsula, which is officially a Ukrainian territory.

Speaking after a meeting with Zelensky, Duda said Poland stands for Ukrainian borders, and that both Donbas region and Crimea should be returned to Ukraine, according to a statement by the Ukrainian presidency. Until then sanctions on Russia must continue, he added.

Zelenksy said Ukraine appreciated Poland’s support vis-à-vis membership in NATO.

The two leaders also underlined the importance of protecting the rights of minorities in their respective countries.

Duda and Zelensky will attend the Ukraine-Poland Economic Forum in Odesa on Tuesday, where officials, and businesspeople will discuss a range of bilateral matters including energy, and infrastructure cooperation.

In 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, a move widely viewed as illegal by the international community, including Turkey and the UN.

Kyiv also blames Moscow for separatist violence in its eastern Donbass region, which borders Russia.

*Writing by Dilan Pamuk

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