Espreso. Global

Poland summons Ukraine's ambassador over Zelenskyy's statements that blocking grain exports helps Russia

20 September, 2023 Wednesday

On September 20, Ukraine's Ambassador Vasyl Zvarych was summoned to the Polish Foreign Ministry over Zelenskyy's statements that blocking Ukrainian grain exports favors Russia

This is reported by РАР.

The ambassador was summoned urgently - he was received by Deputy State Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Paweł Jabłoński.

Poland's reaction was prompted by Volodymyr Zelenskyy's words during yesterday's meeting of the UN General Assembly.

"It is disturbing to see how at this time some in Europe are undermining solidarity and staging political theater, making a thriller out of grain. It may seem that they are playing their own role, but instead they are helping to prepare the stage for the Moscow actor," the President of Ukraine said at the time.

The Polish Foreign Ministry commented on Zelenskyy's statement

"The deputy minister conveyed the Polish side's strong protest over the wording made yesterday by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the UN General Assembly that some EU members are posing as solidarity countries, but in fact they indirectly support Russia. The deputy foreign minister noted that this thesis is definitely not true in relation to Poland, and is especially unjustified in relation to the country that has been supporting Ukraine since the first days of the war."

Jabłoński emphasized that pressure on Poland is not a way to resolve disputes between countries, and that filing complaints with international tribunals will not be effective against Poland, as its government's actions are in line with international and European law and are intended to protect the country's national interests.

He expressed concern about public messages among senior Ukrainian officials that impose a one-sided optics on the multidimensional problem of Ukrainian grain exports to neighboring countries.

The Polish Foreign Ministry emphasized that it hopes that the Ukrainian government's policy "will reflect the true nature of Ukrainian-Polish relations" and take into account Poland's assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

Some details regarding ban on Ukraine grain imports

On Friday, September 15, the European Commission decided not to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain exports to the EU: Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia announced that they would extend the embargo unilaterally.

On the same day, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal noted that the EU's decision would not only help Ukrainian exports and the economy in the face of the blockade of Black Sea ports, but would also contribute to global food security. He called on individual EU member states to refrain from unlawful unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products.

Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative, said that negotiations on agriculture had turned into aggression on the part of Poland and hints of influence during Ukraine's accession to the EU.

On September 19, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine will file a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization and may retaliate by banning imports of goods from Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia.

Instead, on September 20, President Andrzej Duda criticized Ukraine's actions regarding the Polish embargo on Ukrainian grain and said that he and his government would defend the interests of Polish farmers.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also reacted to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's speech at the UN General Assembly and announced a possible extension of the ban on food exports if Kyiv continues to "escalate the conflict."

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