Poland,

Poland stops weapons supply to Ukraine amid grain row

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One of Ukraine’s staunchest allies, Poland, has said it is no longer supplying weapons to its neighbour, amid a diplomatic dispute over Kyiv’s grain exports.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Poland’s focus was instead on defending itself with more modern weapons.

Poland has already sent Ukraine 320 Soviet-era tanks and 14 MiG-29 fighter jets and has little more to offer.

However, the remarks coincide with high tensions between the two neighbours.

On Tuesday, Poland summoned Ukraine’s ambassador over comments made by President Volodymyr Zelensky at the United Nations after Poland, Hungary and Slovakia extended a ban on Ukrainian grain.

Zelensky said it was alarming how some of Ukraine’s friends in Europe were playing out solidarity “in a political theatre – making a thriller from grain”.

Warsaw denounced his words as “unjustified concerning Poland, which has supported Ukraine since the first days of the war”. The two countries have since sought to cool the row down.

Morawiecki was interviewed on Wednesday night by the private Polsat news TV channel hours after the Ukrainian ambassador had been summoned to the foreign ministry in Warsaw in response to the Ukrainian leader’s speech.

“We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons,” the prime minister said.

He was adamant Poland was helping Ukraine defeat the “Russian barbarian” by maintaining a military hub, but would not agree to Poland’s markets being destabilised by grain imports, Polish state news agency Pap reported.

“Our hub in Rzeszow, in agreement with the Americans and Nato, is fulfilling the same role the whole time as it has fulfilled and will fulfil.”

Poland’s military hardware has been depleted by about a third through transfers to Ukraine and is in the process of replacing it with a modern Western-produced kit.

 

(BBC)

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