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Poland Warns Ukraine Against Alienating ‘Trusted Partners’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) and Polish President Andrzej Duda (L).InternationalIndiaAfricaThe spat between Warsaw and Kiev deteriorated after Poland, along with Hungary and Slovakia, imposed import restrictions on Ukraine’s agricultural products. This was followed by Poland announcing that it would stop supplying arms to the Kiev regime over Ukraine’s retaliatory claims lodged with the World Trade Organization.Ukraine has been warned by Poland not to alienate “trusted partners”, according to a local media report.Marcin Przydacz, head of the Bureau of International Policy of the Office of the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, was cited by local media as warning Kiev that promises from larger countries are not necessarily “better than the concrete actions” of smaller states. The presidential advisor emphasized that disrespect for Poland’s interests could affect “every” decision the country makes. Przydacz was quoted as adding that although he understands why Ukrainian authorities and President Volodymyr Zelensky should want to seek additional support elsewhere in Europe, trust is of great importance in foreign policy.“Poland supported Ukraine based on the interests of its own security. But we also have other interests. If they are not respected, it will obviously affect every decision we make,” he was cited as saying.Elsewhere in the interview, the official stressed that although Poland will cooperate with Ukraine if their interests coincide, when their interests diverge, Warsaw is determined “to rigidly defend its [own] interests”.AnalysisExperts: Ukraine-Poland Spat Signals Resurgence of ‘National Interests’ Over NATO’s Pro-Kiev Agenda22 September, 19:02 GMTThe remarks came as the spat between Ukraine and Poland has escalated after Kiev filed a lawsuit against Warsaw with the World Trade Organization (WTO). The dispute was triggered by the Ukraine grain shipment deal. European Union member states that border Ukraine had long objected to the fact that the duty-free import of Ukrainian produce to the bloc caused havoc in their own markets. Furthermore, Polish farmers are a vital tranche of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s electorate as it seeks a third term mid-October.

On 15 September, the European Commission announced it would lift the ban on duty-free Ukrainian grain imports to five member states bordering Ukraine, as well as a demand that Kiev introduce export controls. After the decision, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia announced that they were unilaterally extending the ban. Diplomatic tensions between Warsaw and Kiev intensified as Ukraine filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia on 15 September.

Consequently, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that his country – among the top suppliers of arms to Kiev together with the US and the UK – was no longer supplying weapons to its neighbor. It would, instead, focus on rearming itself.

"We are no longer transferring any weapons to Ukraine based on the fact that we are now arming ourselves with the most modern weapons. If you want to defend yourself, then you must have something to defend yourself with. We recognize this principle. And that’s why we made increased orders," Morawiecki told a national broadcaster.

Shortly after, however, Polish President Andrzej Duda clarified that what the PM actually meant was that Warsaw will not transfer new weapons to Kiev that Poland is “currently buying as part of the modernization” of its army.Government spokesman Piotr Muller added that Poland is supplying weapons to Ukraine only under the previously made agreements.WorldHow is Poland Aiding Ukraine?24 September, 14:20 GMTAgainst the backdrop of these developments, Moscow predicted that tensions between Kiev and Warsaw will heighten.“We see that there are certain tensions between Warsaw and Kiev. We predict that these tensions between Warsaw and Kiev will increase,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in September, adding that tensions between Kiev and other European states will inevitably also increase over time.WorldPoland’s Move to Stop Arms Supplies to Ukraine ‘Deals Real Blow’ to Kiev22 September, 15:50 GMTNevertheless, despite the spat, Warsaw remains one of Kiev’s main supporters amid Russia’s special military operation. Since the beginning of the Russian special military operation, Warsaw has sent $3.3 billion of military supplies to Kiev, which include tanks, fighter jets, multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), artillery and ammunition.Moscow has frequently warned those in the West showering Ukraine with weapons that they were only prolonging the conflict by fanning the flames of NATO’s proxy war with Russia.

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