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Polish Leader Lands in Kenya, Russia to Feature in Ruto Talks

Polish Leader Lands in Kenya, Russia to Feature in Ruto Talks
Polish President Andrjez Duda and his wife departing Warsaw for Nairobi on Sunday. In Nairobi, he will meet Ruto and engage about Russia-Ukraine war. Image courtesy: Grzegorz Jakubowski

Polish President Andrjez Duda has arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, initiating his one-week East African tour with a state visit.

He is expected to also visit Rwanda and Tanzania.

Duda canceled his inaugural visit to Nairobi last October, due to parliamentary election which saw the ruling party lose to the opposition, and this, according to sources, required the Polish leader to be in the country for a smooth transition. 

The European leader will meet with host William Ruto at State house, Nairobi, with discussions centering prominently on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Duda, announcing his visit from Warsaw, noted requests from Polish allies, notably Washington, to engage with East African countries he is visiting regarding Russian “aggression” in Ukraine.

“Our allies, especially the USA, asked us, as a country without a colonial past, to talk to African countries about the situation in this part of Europe, about Russia’s aggressive actions and their consequences,” Duda told the press in Warsaw before departure

His objective during the tour, Duda says, is to promote Poland business interests as well as counter Russian “propaganda” in the continent.

According to him, the Polish side will inform counterparts of “who violates international law and the international order established after World War 2, who is the aggressor, who violates borders and who is responsible for the difficult situation in many places in the world caused by the energy or food crisis.”

Kenya’s staunch support for Ukraine is not merely rhetorical. Nairobi’s voting policy at the UN has seen the country support resolutions not favoring Russia.

This visit from a leader of a NATO member state speaks volumes of Kenya’s emergence as an influential voice on the global stage.

Though there is nothing groundbreaking in this relationship, Kenya is opening doors to new partners from Central and Eastern Europe.

The Romanian leader and Czech Prime Minister visited Nairobi last year.

Warsaw is developing closer ties with Nairobi, feeling at ease thanks to American influence in Kenya.

The US plays a crucial role in Kenya’s political and economic landscape, leading to speculation that Ruto’s camaraderie with Western counterparts paints him as a Western puppet.

Poland is a key American ally in Europe.

A key highlight of this visit will be the Poland-Kenya business forum, where the two leaders will address business representatives from both nations.

This forum aims to foster business and economic cooperation between Poland and Kenya, establishing a bridge for investment and trade.

To lay the groundwork for Duda’s visit, a delegation from the Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce undertook a journey to Poland last September. Their mission was to cultivate robust business relations with their Polish counterparts.

Kalonzo Musyoka, then Kenyan foreign minister visited Poland in 1995 while the Polish minister visited Nairobi in 1993.

Notably, Kenya does not maintain a diplomatic mission in Warsaw, Poland.

However, Poland has its embassy in Nairobi.

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