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Duda: Poland could send Ukraine older weapons after replacing them with modern arms

by Martin Fornusek September 25, 2023 2:50 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky and Polish President Andrzej Duda after commemorating the victims of the Volyn tragedy at the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral in Lutsk, Ukraine on July 9, 2023. (Photo by Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Polish President Andrzej Duda sees no problem in providing Ukraine with older weapons from Poland's arsenal after they are replaced by modern arms, he said in an interview with Super Express on Sept. 25.

The president emphasized that donating new equipment that Poland is currently purchasing, such as South Korean K9 howitzers or K2 tanks, is off the table.

"This equipment must be used to strengthen the Polish military. We aren't spending billions to just hand it over," Duda said in the interview.

He added that this does not mean that Poland would not provide Kyiv with any arms at all: "When the old equipment is replaced with modern hardware, I see no problem in sending it to Ukraine."

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki sparked a controversy when he told Polsat News on Sept. 20 that Warsaw is not sending more weapons to Ukraine as it is shifting focus on restocking its own military arsenal.

Polish officials later clarified his statements by saying that Poland continues to supply arms and ammunition that are part of previously agreed deliveries and that the Rzeszow hub for Western supplies flowing to Ukraine will remain operational.

Duda warned against drawing "too far-reaching" conclusions from the prime minister's statements, adding that any division between the two countries can have "tragic" consequences.

Morawiecki's statement came amid escalating tensions between Kyiv and Warsaw, sparked by Poland's decision to extend the import ban on Ukrainian grain products past its expiration date set by the EU on Sept. 15.

In response, Kyiv sued Poland at the World Trade Organization and threatened its own trade embargos.  President Volodymyr Zelensky also indirectly criticized Poland at the U.N. General Assembly by saying that countries prolonging the grain import ban are inadvertently aiding Russia.

Warsaw responded by summoning Ukraine's ambassador in protest and Morawiecki called on Zelensky "never to insult Poles again."

Duda has previously urged de-escalation of the dispute, saying the disagreements should not overshadow cooperation between the two nations.

Polish Defense Minister: Polish army will be strongest land force in Europe
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak believes that Poland will amass a force of 300,000 soldiers, making it the largest land army in Europe, Polskie Radio reported on Sept. 23.
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