Warsaw says it will continue to send weapons to Kiev despite escalating tensions over grain shipments FILE PHOTO © Getty Images / Scott Peterson
The Polish government has attempted to walk back Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s threat to halt weapon shipments to Ukraine. Government spokesman Piotr Muller has stressed that Poland will continue to send military supplies to Ukraine under its existing agreements.
“Poland is only carrying out previously agreed supplies of ammunition and armaments, including those resulting from the contracts signed with Ukraine,” the spokesman said, noting that Poland has “consistently helped” Kiev in the conflict.
His statement comes after Morawiecki declared on Thursday that Warsaw will no longer provide arms to the Ukrainian military and will instead focus on arming its own forces with modern weapons. “Ukrainian authorities do not understand the degree to which Poland’s farming industry has been destabilized” by imports, the prime minister said.
One Polish government official, however, told Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity that the prime minister’s words had been wrongly interpreted. Another official claimed that while Poland has no more weaponry left that can be donated, it will continue to make ammunition shipments to Ukraine.
Poland stops weapons supplies to Ukraine – PM
Kiev’s public falling out with one of its staunchest supporters throughout the Russian-Ukraine conflict comes amid an escalating diplomatic row over Ukrainian grain imports to Europe.
Poland, along with Hungary and Slovakia, had previously decided to go against the EU’s decision to lift the embargo on Ukrainian grain. Warsaw explained the unilateral move by stating it protecting its farmers and preventing cheap Ukrainian agricultural products from flooding the market and disrupting the agricultural industry.
Kiev responded to the move by condemning it as “illegal” and announcing that it would file a dispute with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the three Eastern European countries. It also threatened to ban the import of Polish fruits and vegetables.
The EU, meanwhile, has demanded that Warsaw, Budapest, and Bratislava reverse their bans because EU members are not allowed to take unilateral measures on trade. However, according to a report by the Financial Times, Brussels is now considering whether to protect the three countries against Kiev’s WTO filing. It is allegedly working to “coordinate” its legal rebuttals to the claim. (RT)