Poland halts weapons to Ukraine amid grain dispute: PM
Poland's Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has declared a suspension of arms shipments to Ukraine, citing the need to focus on bolstering Warsaw's own defense capabilities.
The Prime Minister of Poland has announced that they will cease sending weaponry to Ukraine in order to prioritize their own defense. This decision comes shortly after Warsaw called in Ukraine's ambassador, leading to a dispute over grain exports.
Responding to a question on whether Warsaw would maintain its support for Kiev despite the disagreement over grain exports, Mateusz Morawiecki said: "We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons."
Poland has consistently stood as a strong ally of Ukraine since Russia launched its special military operation in February 2022. Poland also serves as one of Kiev's primary weapons sources, and has provided extensive state assistance to the approximately one million Ukrainian refugees it hosts.
The conflict between Warsaw and Kiev stemmed from Poland's decision to prohibit the import of Ukrainian grain, a measure taken to safeguard the welfare of its agricultural sector. These tensions have escalated in the past few days.
Zelensky accuses EU countries of aiding Russia
During his address to the United Nations General Assembly this week, Volodymyr Zelensky accused certain European nations of indirectly aiding Russia through their approach to grain exports.
He expressed concern about how some European countries are turning solidarity into a political spectacle, likening their actions to creating a dramatic performance around grain exports. Zelensky suggested that through these actions, they may appear to assert their roles, but in reality, they are unintentionally assisting Moscow in its agenda.
"It is alarming to see how some in Europe play out solidarity in a political theater – making a thriller from the grain. They may seem to play their own role, but in fact they are helping set the stage for a Moscow actor," he said.
Later, Morawiecki told Polsat News television, "I am warning Ukraine’s authorities. Because if they are to escalate the conflict like that, we will add additional products to the ban on imports into Poland. Ukrainian authorities do not understand the degree to which Poland’s farming industry has been destabilized. We are protecting Polish farmers."
Last Friday, the European Commission announced the termination of the grain import ban, stating that "the market distortions in the five member states bordering Ukraine have disappeared."
Simultaneously, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia defied the decision, sparking a diplomatic dispute with Ukraine. Poland warned that if the bloc refuses to extend the ban, it would implement it unilaterally.
This matter is especially delicate in Poland, where elections are scheduled for next month. The current populist right-wing government, led by the Law and Justice party, enjoys significant backing in agricultural areas.
Concurrently, Kiev also underlined that Ukrainian exporters have been suffering significant losses due to the bans put in place by the EU states.