Poland will no longer supply weapons to Ukraine, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was reported as saying amid growing tension between Warsaw and Kyiv in a dispute over grain exports.
Poland has been among Ukraine’s staunchest supporters since the Russian invasion last year and is one of Kyiv’s primary weapons suppliers. Poland also hosts about one million Ukrainian refugees.
But Morawiecki appeared to signal on Wednesday that relations were about to change radically.
The prime minister said on Wednesday that Poland is no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine, speaking in response to a question from a reporter on whether Warsaw would continue to support Kyiv with weapons despite the dispute over grain exports.
Tensions between Warsaw and Kyiv have flared in recent days following Poland’s imposition of a ban on Ukraine’s grain imports in a bid to protect the interests of Polish farmers.
Poland also summoned Kyiv’s envoy to the foreign ministry in Warsaw on Wednesday following comments by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy about the ban on Ukraine’s grain.
Zelenskyy said at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York that Ukraine was working to preserve land routes for grain exports, but he added that the “political theater” around grain was only helping Moscow.
Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski told Ukraine’s Ambassador to Warsaw, Vasyl Zvarych, that “putting pressure on Poland in multilateral forums or sending complaints to international tribunals are not appropriate methods of resolving disputes between our countries”.
Earlier this year, the EU agreed to place restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia as part of efforts to protect local farmers who blamed cheaper Ukrainian imports for a slump in prices in local markets.
The EU measures allowed Ukrainian grain to continue transiting through the five countries but stopped the grain from being sold in the local market. On Friday, the EU said it was ending those import measures.
Poland, Hungary and Slovakia immediately announced they would defy the EU move and would impose their unilateral ban on Ukraine’s grain. A WTO spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that Ukraine had taken the first step in a trade dispute by filing a complaint with the global trade body. He did not name the countries, although Kyiv has previously said the complaint targeted Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.