Poland’s Prime Minister confirmed that his country will no longer send weapons to Ukraine, state news Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported Thursday.
Poland has historically been one of Ukraine’s strongest allies and supplied Kyiv with significant humanitarian, financial and military aid as its counteroffensive against Russia continues, according to CNN. The decision will not affect a pre-existing arms agreement signed since 1989, but will affect “modern” weaponry Ukraine was receiving going forward, PAP reported.
“We no longer transfer weapons to Ukraine, we are now arming ourselves with the most modern weapons,” Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said during an interview on Wednesday, according to PAP. “If you want to defend yourself, you have to have something to defend with.”
Premier @MorawieckiM w #GośćWydarzeń dla @PolsatNewsPL: Ukraina broni się przed bestialskim atakiem rosyjskim i rozumiem tą sytuację, jednak tak jak powiedziałem, będziemy chronić nasz kraj. My już nie przekazujemy uzbrojenia na , ponieważ uzbrajamy teraz Polskę.
— Kancelaria Premiera (@PremierRP) September 20, 2023
Piotr Mueller, a government spokesperson, noted that the decision was made as a result of a “series of absolutely unacceptable statements and diplomatic gestures” by Ukraine, according to PAP.
Poland’s reversal comes amid heightened tensions with Ukraine over a temporary grain ban put in place earlier this year, according to CNN. The ban was put in place by a number of EU countries to keep Ukraine’s low grain prices from undercutting local farmers.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday that the countries abiding by the ban were playing out “political theater,” and warned that they “are helping set the stage to a Moscow actor,” according to CNN.
“We remind you that in the first months of the war, Poland supplied tanks, armored vehicles, planes and ammunition that were key to preventing Russia from attacking Ukraine and potentially other EU countries – including Poland,” Mueller said, according to PAP. “In the first months of the war, when other EU countries talked about support, Poland consistently helped repel Russia’s attack.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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