Espreso. Global

Polish president details conditions for weapon supply to Ukraine 

25 September, 2023 Monday
13:09

Polish President Andrzej Duda has affirmed his country's commitment to supplying military aid to Ukraine. However, this aid primarily consists of older military equipment that will eventually be replaced through the purchase of new equipment

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He made the statement in an interview with the Polish news agency Super Express.

"I interpreted Prime Minister Morawiecki's statement quite differently. Perhaps because I recently spoke with him, in particular about the supply of weapons to Ukraine," Duda commented on Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's statement about the termination of military aid to Kyiv.

According to him, it is out of the question to send any new equipment that Poland is currently purchasing, such as K2 howitzers or K9 tanks. The president said that this equipment should serve to strengthen the Polish army. 

"But this does not mean that we will not transfer weapons to Ukraine at all. When old equipment is replaced with modern equipment, I have no problem sending it to Ukrainians. We should not make too far-reaching conclusions. We have to control our emotions because let's remember who will benefit the most if Poland and Ukraine break up. The consequences could be tragic," Duda emphasized.

The ban on imports of agricultural products from Ukraine and the deterioration of relations with Poland

On February 2, Polish farmers began blocking checkpoints on the border with Ukraine. They were outraged that the uncontrolled inflow of Ukrainian grain to Poland had caused prices for their products to plummet. Local farmers argue that Ukrainian grain should have been transported through Poland only to ports, but it ended up on the Polish market. 

On March 29, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki said that Poland promised to introduce rules that would limit the inflow of Ukrainian grain to the country, explaining that it could destabilize the import market.

On April 7, Ukraine agreed to stop exporting grain to Poland, and on April 15, the country approved a ban on the import of Ukrainian grain and other food products to Poland. Later, Poland approved a ban on the import of Ukrainian grain and other food products to Poland. The government emphasized that this decision does not change the country's position on support and friendship with Ukraine.

On May 12, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary called on the European Commission to extend the embargo on agricultural products from Ukraine until the end of the year. Later that month, it was reported that four EU countries would insist on extending grain import restrictions from Ukraine until October. At the same time, Hungary wanted to extend the restrictions until 2024.  

Following this, Poland's Minister of Agriculture, Robert Telus, stated that Poland would also urge the European Union to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain imports. If the EU refuses, Poland would consider implementing its own restrictions. He noted that Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary had similar intentions.

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.

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. The next day, Polish 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.

On September 20, Ukraine's Ambassador Vasyl Zvarych was summoned to the Polish Foreign Ministry over Zelenskyy's statements that some countries' blocking of grain exports is in Russia's favor.

Prime Minister Morawiecki said that Poland would no longer supply weapons to Ukraine. Andrzej Duda reacted to these words and said that they were interpreted in the worst way and taken out of context.

The Polish president also said that he did not believe that a small dispute between Ukraine and his country over Ukrainian agricultural imports could undo all the achievements of Polish-Ukrainian relations and added that his country had prepared transit corridors through which Ukraine could export its grain to countries that needed it. However, Warsaw is not lifting its ban on the sale of agricultural products.

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