Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Sept. 20 that Poland will no longer supply Ukraine with weapons as rifts over the import of Ukrainian grain products deepens.
“Ukraine is defending itself against the brutal Russian attack and I understand this situation, but as I said, we will protect our country. We no longer transfer weapons to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland,” Morawiecki told the Polsat News TV channel, the Office of the Prime Minister of Poland reported.
The decision to halt weapons transfer comes amidst ongoing disputes between the two countries over the import of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower. The European Commission implemented an embargo on the Ukrainian products in May out of concerns that cheaper imports would threaten the domestic agriculture producers in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. The embargo expired on Sept. 15, though Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia each implemented their own bans in response.
Ukraine subsequently filed an appeal at the World Trade Organization. In response, Polish government spokesperson Piotr Muller told Polish media PAP that the Polish government’s position has not changed.
“We believe that our actions regarding the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain are justified. We will not allow the agriculture market in Poland to be disrupted. We do not change our opinion on this matter and we will take steps to defend the interests of Polish farmers,” he said.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shymal insisted that if countries do not end their embargo on Ukrainian products, Ukraine will limit imports in response.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the developing crisis during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, saying “it is alarming to see how some in Europe, some of our friends in Europe, play out solidarity in a political theater – making a thriller from the grain. They may seem to play their own role but in fact they are helping set the stage to a Moscow actor.”
Despite this, the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and head of the ruling Law and Justice Party, Yaroslav Kaczyński, told Polish Radio that Poland will continue to support Ukraine in its defense against Russia. “We will support Ukraine until victory,” he asserted.