One of Ukraine’s biggest allies, and one of its most important ones, responded angrily to comments Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky made about their country.
After Zelensky criticized a policy that Poland continues to enact to ban grain imports from Ukraine, Poland said they wouldn’t be supplying their neighbor with any more new weapons. Those weapons have been critical to Ukraine’s war effort, and the decision marks a stunning turn of events.
Last week, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, told a local media outlet Polsat News that his country wouldn’t be “transferring any weapons” to Ukraine.
“We will now arm ourselves with the most modern weapons.”
The Polish embassy in Washington, D.C., clarified the comments a bit a few days later, telling media outlet The Hill that it would still carry out its “previously agreed-upon deliveries of ammunition and weaponry” that are part of signed contracts.
The embassy also said that Poland would still be an international hub of assistance for any Western arms that need to go into Ukraine.
Marek Magierowski, Poland’s ambassador to the United States, posted on the social media platform X – formerly known as Twitter:
“Over the last 17 months we have basically gutted our military for the sake of Ukraine’s war effort. Poland is now striving to make up for the depletion of our own capabilities.”
Ukraine has heavily relied on Western arms to keep up with Russia in their war efforts. Many political pundits have said that if Poland’s decision remains in place for a while, that it would certainly be a victory that Russia could claim.
One of Moscow’s key strategies of the war thus far has been just trying to hang around as long as possible hoping that the support that Western countries have been providing Ukraine would crack over time.
The decision that Poland announced came after Ukraine said it would sue Slovakia, Hungary and Poland in the World Trade Organization for continuing to ban agricultural and grain imports from Ukraine.
In the spring, a commission in the European Union allowed those three countries to ban the imports on a temporary basis. The commission decided recently, though, that it wouldn’t extend that ban.
In response, those three countries decided to impose their own bans on the imports, which forced Ukraine to sue them.
In arguing that they needed to extend the import ban, Poland said the Ukrainian grain creates high stocks of product as well as market volatility – both of which are impacting not just its farmers but its overall economy.
The Polish embassy emailed The Hill explaining:
“The enormous increase in the import of grains and oilseeds into Poland at the turn of 2022 and 2023 has led to significant market disruptions in our country.”
Officials in Poland also accused Ukraine of using hostility as part of the negotiations. The email read:
“In recent days we witnessed a series of utterly unacceptable diplomatic statements and gestures which have emerged from the Ukrainian side. Poland does not accept such unwarranted actions.”