Warsaw has stopped supplying weapons to Kiev and is instead focusing on arming itself, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday, amid a dispute over Ukraine’s agricultural exports.
“We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons,” Morawiecki said during an appearance on Polish TV channel Polsat, according to European Pravda. “If you don’t want to be defensive, you have to have something to defend yourself with,” he added, insisting, however, that the move would not endanger Ukraine’s security.
Morawiecki’s terse comments come as tensions have escalated between Kiev and the EU over the past week, after the European Commission decided to allow sales of Ukrainian grain across the bloc, ending restrictions on grain imports that five Eastern EU countries originally sought to protect their farmers from competition.
Poland, Hungary and Slovakia responded to the Commission’s decision by imposing unilateral bans on Ukrainian grain imports, in apparent violation of EU internal market rules. kyiv retaliated by filing lawsuits against the three countries at the World Trade Organization.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday thinly criticized the grain bans, telling the United Nations General Assembly: “It is alarming to see how some in Europe, some of our friends in Europe, are playing solidarity in a political theater – making a thriller out of the grain. They seem to be playing their own role, but in reality they are helping to prepare the ground for a Moscow actor.”
While Zelensky did not specifically name-check Poland, Warsaw summoned kyiv’s ambassador to the Foreign Ministry in response.
Morawiecki also issued a “warning” to “Ukrainian authorities,” earlier telling Polsat: “If they want to intensify the conflict in this way, we will add additional products to the import ban into Poland. The Ukrainian authorities do not understand the extent to which the Polish agricultural sector is destabilized.”
Poland is in the midst of a high-stakes campaign ahead of next month’s elections, with the right-wing Law and Justice government fighting for re-election. While Warsaw initially threw its support behind the campaign to help Kyiv repel the Russian invasion attempt, this total support waned as the consequences of supporting Ukraine for its own farmers became more evident.