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Prince William visits Poland to assist ally serving to Ukraine

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WARSAW, Poland — Prince William traveled to Poland on Wednesday for a shock go to that underscored Britain’s assist for a nation on the entrance line of efforts to assist refugees displaced by Russia’s war in Ukraine and to help the Ukrainian navy in preventing off the invasion.

The inheritor to the throne met with British and Polish troops in Rzeszow, a metropolis of 200,000 individuals in southeastern Poland that has develop into a hub for shipments of navy and humanitarian support certain for Ukraine.

“I simply wished to return right here in particular person to say thanks for all that you just’re doing, retaining everybody protected out right here and maintaining a tally of what’s happening,’’ William stated as he spoke to the troops.

“You’re doing a very essential job out right here and defending our freedoms is absolutely essential, and everybody again residence completely helps you,” he stated.

Positioned simply 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the Ukrainian border, Rzeszow can be a key transit level for refugees.

William later landed in Warsaw, the place he visited a middle that homes about 300 latest arrivals from Ukraine, assembly Ukrainians and enjoying desk tennis with youngsters.

He praised the robust ties between the individuals of the U.Okay. and Poland, and the cooperation undertaken in assist of Ukraine.

“I additionally need to pay tribute to the inspiring humanity of the Polish individuals,’’ the prince stated. “You will have opened your hearts as a lot as your houses.’’

The U.Okay. has been one of the outspoken supporters of bolstering NATO’s japanese flank within the face of Russia’s aggression. The nation despatched troops to Poland and the Baltic states and offered greater than 2.3 billion kilos ($2.8 billion) of navy support to Ukraine. It additionally has pledged 220 million kilos ($269 million) of humanitarian help.

However deploying the favored 40-year-old prince, a navy veteran who additionally labored as a civilian air-sea rescue pilot, affords a extra private contact. Whereas British political leaders have visited Poland recurrently to trumpet their assist for NATO and the Ukrainian trigger, a senior royal like William is an emblem of the nation who can thank navy personnel for his or her service with out the bags of celebration politics.

The prince’s deliberate conferences with refugees and volunteers additionally shine the royal highlight on efforts to shelter the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who’ve settled in Poland over the previous yr.

On Thursday, he’s additionally scheduled to fulfill with President Andrzej Duda and to speak with younger Ukrainians who’re working and finding out in Poland.

“Our nations have robust ties,’’ William stated Wednesday. ”By means of our cooperation in assist of the individuals of Ukraine and their freedom, that are additionally our freedoms and yours, these ties are additional strengthened.’’

Kirka contributed from London.

Comply with AP’s protection of the conflict in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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