Warsaw has stopped supplying weapons to Kyiv and is focusing on arming itself instead, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Wednesday, amid a dispute over Ukraine’s agricultural exports.
“We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons,” Morawiecki said in an appearance on Polish television channel Polsat, according to European Pravda. “If you don’t want to be on the defensive, you have to have something to defend yourself with,” he added, insisting, though, that the move wouldn’t endanger Ukraine’s security.
Morawiecki’s terse comments came as tensions escalated between Kyiv and the EU over the past week, after the European Commission moved to allow Ukrainian grain sales across the bloc, ending restrictions on grain imports which five eastern EU countries originally sought to protect their farmers from competition.
Poland, Hungary and Slovakia responded to the Commission’s move by imposing unilateral bans on Ukrainian grain imports, in apparent violation of the EU’s internal market rules. Kyiv struck back by filing lawsuits against the three countries at the World Trade Organization.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday took a thinly veiled swipe at those imposing grain bans, telling the U.N. General Assembly: “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.”
While Zelenskyy didn’t specifically name-check Poland, Warsaw summoned Kyiv’s ambassador to the foreign ministry in response.
Morawiecki also delivered a “warning” to “Ukraine’s authorities,” earlier telling Polsat, “if they are to escalate the conflict like that, we will add additional products to the ban on imports into Poland. Ukrainian authorities do not understand the degree to which Poland’s farming industry has been destabilized.”
Poland is in the midst of a high-stakes campaign ahead of an election next month, with the right-wing Law and Justice government battling for reelection. While Warsaw initially threw its weight behind the campaign to help Kyiv fend off Russia’s attempted invasion, that full-throated support has waned as the consequences of supporting Ukraine for its own farmers have become more evident.