Poland says it will stop sending Ukraine weapons as row over food imports blows up

For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails

Sign up to our free breaking news emails

Poland has said it will stop transferring weapons to Ukraine following diplomatic clashes over grain and other food imports.

“We no longer transfer weapons to Ukraine because we are now arming Poland,” prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

Poland has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, but the neighbours are now at loggerheads after Poland joined Hungary and Slovakia in extending a ban on Ukrainian grain imports.

Apart from being one of Kyiv’s main weapons suppliers, Poland also houses over a million Ukrainian refugees who fled across the western border to escape Russia’s invasion.

The Polish prime minister said he would continue to allow the transit of Ukrainian goods but not risk destabilising his domestic market by accepting Ukrainian grain imports, according to Polish news agency PAP.

„Poland does not bear any costs due to that. On the contrary, it could be said that we earn from it,” Mr Morawiecki said.

The relationship between the two nations has soured over the issue of food imports, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky telling the UN General Assembly that „some in Europe, some of our friends in Europe, play out solidarity in a political theatre” around grain imports that was only helping Moscow.

Poland, Slovakia and Hungary announced curbs on grain imports from Ukraine last Friday defying the European Commission, which had decided not to extend a ban on sales into five EU states, including Romania and Bulgaria.

The European Commission said it was ending the ban because the „market distortions in the five member states bordering Ukraine have disappeared”. It was introduced to protect farmers from a surge of grain and food imports from Ukraine, after Russia largely blocked Ukraine’s export routes via Black Sea ports.

Mr Zelensky added that the European nations involved “may seem to play their own role but in fact they are helping set the stage to a Moscow actor”.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky arrives to address the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters

(AFP via Getty Images)

Poland condemned the remark and summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to convey a „strong protest”.

Deputy foreign minister Pawel Jablonski „conveyed the Polish side’s strong protest against the statements made by President V Zelensky at the UN General Assembly yesterday, alleging that some EU countries feigned solidarity while indirectly supporting Russia”.

Poland’s foreign ministry said Mr Jablonski also told ambassador Vasyl Zvarych that „putting pressure on Poland in multilateral forums or sending complaints to international tribunals are not appropriate methods of resolving disputes between our countries”.

Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson with the Ukrainian foreign ministry, in a Facebook post urged „our Polish friends to put aside their emotions”. „The Ukrainian side has offered Poland a constructive path to resolve the grain issue.”

Mr Nikolenko said Ukraine’s ambassador explained Kyiv’s position on the „unacceptability” of the Polish ban and suggested Kyiv’s proposals „will become the basis for moving the dialogue into a constructive course”.

Ukraine’s ambassador also underlined the „incorrectness” of remarks by Polish president Andrzej Duda in New York that Ukraine should remember that it receives help from Poland. The president had likened Kyiv to a „drowning person”.

Podobne wpisy

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *