Espreso. Global

MP Kniazhytskyi on Ukraine-Poland border crisis: both governments have done little to solve it

2 December, 2023 Saturday

Both the Polish and Ukrainian governments have done little to resolve the border crisis caused by the protest of Polish truckers

Mykola Kniazhytskyi, a member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, voiced his opinion during the 7:00 Talk on RMF FM and RMF24 Radio.

According to him, only Russia will benefit from the current situation.

Since November 6, Polish truckers have been protesting at border crossings with Ukraine, demanding, among other things, the introduction of commercial permits for Ukrainian companies to transport goods, with the exception of humanitarian aid and supplies for the Ukrainian army. The issue of the protest is due to be considered by EU transport ministers at a meeting of the EU Council next week.

Speaking about the crisis on the border with Poland, Mykola Kniazhytskyi described it as a matter of national security.

"Because of this crisis, unfortunately, the Russians control the weapons and equipment that go from Poland to Ukraine," said the politician of the European Solidarity opposition faction.

 He also stressed that there were cases when trucks with military equipment were also queuing at border crossings.

According to the MP, the issue should be resolved through negotiations at the EU level, as well as between the governments in Kyiv and Warsaw.

"Unfortunately, neither the Polish nor the Ukrainian governments have done enough to resolve this problem so far," Knyazhytskyi assessed the situation and expressed hope that certain decisions on this issue would be made at the EU Transport Council meeting next Monday.

He stressed that the MP himself had addressed this issue, including to representatives of the Ukrainian government.

"I addressed both the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba and the Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov. They told me that they needed 10 days to prepare a response for me. Then it turned out that 10 days was not enough, they needed 30 days. They are doing nothing, it seems that they are waiting for the government of Donald Tusk," said Kniazhytskyi, adding that this is a mistake in such situations.

According to him, some Ukrainian transport companies have already gone bankrupt as a result of the protest.

On the other hand, exports of goods from Poland to Ukraine have increased by 25% this year. Ukraine ranks 8th in terms of exports from Poland, so Polish companies that want to sell us something are also losing money," the MP said.

He claims that the protest could be discussed at a joint meeting of the National Security Council of the two countries.

"And if not, then President Zelenskyy should speak within the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Council, because this is a matter of our security," Knyazhytskyi reiterated.

Kniazhytskyi: "The crisis on the border, unfortunately, is also a consequence of the internal situation in Poland”

He also criticized the Polish government's position on the border protest.

"The government is interim and does not want to take responsibility, and on the other hand, it wants to harm the future government of Donald Tusk, so this is also, unfortunately, part of the internal political situation in Poland," the MP said.

Knyazhytskyi also agrees that communication between Kyiv and Warsaw needs to be improved, as so far it has been mostly the presidential offices that have been in contact: Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Andrzej Duda.

"The Ukrainian side communicated only with the government, it did not communicate with the opposition, which will now be in power. Communication should be not only at the level of presidents and governments, but also at the level of parliaments," Knyazhytskyi said.

He recalled that a few days ago, the newly elected chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Pawel Kowal (Civic Coalition), visited Ukraine.

"He was in Kyiv and met with President Zelenskyy, his Cabinet chief Andriy Yermak and Minister Kubrakov. I hope that both the new Polish parliament and the new Polish government will maintain more contacts with Ukraine," the politician said. He also expressed hope that Poland would continue to support Ukraine's aspirations to join the EU and NATO.

Asked how he assesses Donald Tusk as the future Prime Minister, Knyazhytskyi said that he is an experienced politician, including in working in European structures, and a friend of Ukraine.

"I think his government will help Ukraine," he added.

Kniazhytskyi: "As long as Russia is an aggressive state, there will be no peace in Ukraine”

Tomasz Wierinski, the host of the conversation, also asked about the prospects for ending the war in Ukraine.

"Russia must stop being an aggressive state, without this, the end of the war will not be possible," Kniazhytskyi said.

He also expressed hope that, in addition to further supplies of military equipment from the West, joint Ukrainian-Polish enterprises would be established to produce weapons for the Ukrainian army. And he did not hide the fact that he was counting on the support of the future government of Donald Tusk in this matter.

"From a strategic point of view, this is even more important than getting ten or a hundred Abrams tanks," the MP added. 

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