In an interview with Polsat News today, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki cleared the air over disputes with Ukraine on the imports of grain and the protests of Polish farmers. Earlier today, Poland summoned the Ukrainian ambassador over President Zelensky’s comments to the United Nations over a Polish grain ban. Ahead of tough October Polish elections, the current government is choosing to toughen its stance on Ukraine, not only economically, but also militarily. The Prime Minister made the following comments:
“I regret that the Ukrainian oligarchs started pushing their grain onto the Polish market, without taking into account the interests of Polish farmers. They caused prices to crash. We had to guarantee a price of PLN 1,400 per tonne of Polish wheat – this was in spring. We have fulfilled all our promises and I do not see any threat now from Ukrainian grain because we have blocked this import.”
When asked about continuing to send arms to Ukraine, he clarified:
“If I were to look for something to justify (Ukraine), it would only be what we all know perfectly well: that Ukraine is defending itself against the brutal Russian attack and we understand that this attack creates a completely unprecedented situation, one that we have not faced since World War II. world. This is simply a regular war…We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine. Now we will arm ourselves with the most modern weapons…If you don’t want to defend yourself, you must have something to defend yourself – this is our principle, which is why we have made larger orders…Weapons production is also in full swing there. Similarly, in Stalowa Wola, in the “Bumar ?ab?dy” Mechanical Plant – crabs, wolverines in Siemianowice and many, many other plants. Here, we focus mainly on modernizing and quickly arming the Polish army so that it becomes one of the strongest armies in Europe. And in a very short time.”
Poland has been the most significant player in arming Ukraine, not only through its unilateral supply of military equipment such as MiG-29s, but also by allowing foreign partners to store and transfer arms over the Polish border into Ukraine. This row over a Ukrainian grain embargo and the October elections is surely an acute episode in the so-far fruitful relationship between the two former Soviet-republic. Nevertheless, this schism is sure to fuel Russian hopes that the NATO alliance cannot maintain its combined front against Putin’s 2022 invasion.