Polish president urges world to back Ukraine reconstruction

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Polish president urges world to back Ukraine reconstruction

The Russian invasion has devastated Ukraine and the world needs to support its reconstruction, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has said.

On Thursday, Duda made an appeal in the south-eastern city of Rzeszow, after he and his counterparts from the Baltic States returned from a visit to Kyiv.

The president said there was widespread belief that Ukraine would be able to defend itself, but Ukrainians needed international support to return to their homes and rebuild their country from the destruction caused by the Russian invasion.

This financial support must be given by the EU, and this financial support for Ukraine must be given by the rest of the world, and I believe that we, the international community, will be up to the task, Duda said.

The Polish president said that the message from Kyiv from all five of us, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, will be heard across the world, and that the visit was meant to be seen as a show of support for Ukraine.

The Latvian president, Egils Levits, said he and his counterparts had seen first-hand the atrocities committed by Russia in Ukraine.

Levits believes that the people responsible for this should be brought before international courts to be punished. Such crimes can't be tolerated by the international community. The Latvian president pointed out that the international community should set up a special court to deal with Russian war crimes, similar to that established 20 years ago to prosecute Serbian criminals from the Balkans war.

The group of presidents had visited new locations in Ukraine where war crimes had been committed, according to the Estonian president, Alar Karis.

Karis said that we visited two crime sites in Ukraine yesterday and they left us speechless. Karis said that the people who committed those crimes, who started the war, killed civilians, including children, must be brought before a court.

Ukrainian and international prosecutors have been able to gather evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine, which will be used in international courts. There have been numerous reports of extrajudicial killings, torture, rape and abductions committed by the Russian army.