Poland, a steadfast ally of Ukraine, has announced it has ceased supplying weapons to Ukraine amidst a diplomatic disagreement over grain trade. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated that Poland’s primary focus is now on fortifying its own defenses with more advanced weaponry. Poland had previously dispatched 320 Soviet-era tanks and 14 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, with limited additional resources to offer.
These comments coincide with heightened tensions between the two nations. Recently, Poland expressed concern over comments made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the United Nations, following the extension of a ban on Ukrainian grain by Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia.
In his statement, Zelensky criticized certain European allies for exhibiting solidarity in a political manner, characterizing it as a theatrical display over grain. Poland viewed these remarks as unjust towards their support for Ukraine since the onset of the conflict.
Prime Minister Morawiecki emphasized that while Poland continues to assist Ukraine in countering the “Russian threat,” they cannot permit their own markets to be disrupted by grain imports. The military hub in Rzeszow, in collaboration with the U.S. and NATO, remains dedicated to this cause.
Poland’s military resources have been diminished by about one-third due to transfers to Ukraine, and they are in the process of replenishing with modern Western-produced equipment. Although arms exports to Ukraine will not cease entirely, Polish manufacturer PGZ is scheduled to dispatch around 60 Krab artillery weapons in the coming months.
Amidst the ongoing election campaign and in defense of Polish farmers concerned about Ukrainian grain imports, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has amplified its rhetoric. They have maintained the ban on grain imports, despite the EU choosing not to renew it.
Ukraine has lodged lawsuits with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia over the bans, asserting that they violate international obligations. Poland, however, remains resolute in maintaining the ban, asserting that complaints to international bodies do not sway their stance.
Despite this disagreement, the three countries have affirmed they will still allow the transportation of grain through their territories to other markets. The French Foreign Minister, Catherina Colonna, remarked that a study conducted by the EU revealed that Ukrainian grain imports would not severely impact European farmers, deeming the tensions regrettable.
Poland has extended substantial support to Ukraine in its defense against Russia, including advocating for Germany to provide Leopard 2 battle tanks, pledging fighter jets, and welcoming over 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees.