EBN – Poland has suspended its arms shipments to Kyiv, marking a development in the grain dispute between the two countries
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced, “We are no longer transferring any weapons to Ukraine.”
“We are mainly focusing on modernising and rapidly arming the Polish army, so that it becomes one of the most powerful land armies in Europe.” The Prime Minister added.
Shift in Relations Between Former Allies
This decision has sent shockwaves throughout Europe, given Poland’s prior role as a staunch ally in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.
While Warsaw has clarified that it will fulfil its previously committed arms deliveries, the future of such shipments remains uncertain.
The root cause of this dramatic shift in relations between Poland and Ukraine is a bitter dispute over grain trade.
Poland banned Ukrainian grain imports, affirming that Polish farmers were unable to compete with cheaper Ukrainian grain prices.
The dispute has peaked in tension between the two countries, threatening to rescind their once-solid alliance.
EC Stresses Support for Ukraine After Poland-Ukraine Dispute
However, the EC has said that the dispute will not impact the broader Ukraine-EU ties.
A Commission spokesperson emphasised that the EU’s unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine across all areas, including military assistance, remains unchanged.
This statement followed last Friday’s decision by the EC to reject Poland’s request for an extension of the temporary EU ban on Ukrainian grain imports.
The decision was not well-received in Warsaw, with some Polish quarters expressing disappointment.
German Green MEP Sergey Lagodinsky defended the EC’s stance, highlighting the challenging task of balancing Ukraine’s economic survival and ensuring the free flow of resources and food globally.
In contrast, MEP Urmas Paet expressed scepticism about Poland’s threat to cease arms exports to Ukraine.
He argued that Poland recognises the mutual interests at stake, both for itself and Europe, in ensuring Ukraine’s security.
Nonetheless, irrespective of whether Poland proceeds with its suspension of arms shipments to Ukraine, experts suggest that the damage to bilateral relations has already occurred.
Furthermore, they noted that reconciliation efforts may be lengthy, with Poland and Ukraine facing a protracted period of strained diplomacy.