Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s prime minister mentioned his nation is now not sending arms to Ukraine, a remark that appeared geared toward pressuring Kyiv and put Poland’s standing as a serious supply of army gear doubtful as a commerce dispute between the neighboring states escalates.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki mentioned in an interview late on Wednesday that Poland is now not transferring weapons to Ukraine. He made the remark as his populist occasion faces strain from a far-right occasion in a nationwide election on Oct. 15. The far-right occasion, Confederation, says Poland is just not getting the gratitude it deserves for arming Ukraine and accepting its refugees.

“We’re now not transferring any weapons to Ukraine as a result of we are actually arming ourselves with probably the most fashionable weapons,” Morawiecki mentioned in an interview on Polsat, a personal tv broadcaster. He didn’t elaborate or clarify if and the way the 2 actions have been mutually unique.

The prime minister then spoke of a army modernization plan underway, spurred by fears of Russian aggression within the area.

A authorities spokesman, Piotr Mueller, appeared to substantiate Thursday that Warsaw wouldn’t comply with extra army support. He mentioned the nation was now solely offering provides of ammunition and armaments that had beforehand been agreed to, noting that “a collection of completely unacceptable statements and diplomatic gestures appeared on the Ukrainian aspect.”

Poland has equipped Ukraine with a variety of weaponry, together with Leopard 2 tanks and Soviet-era MiG fighter jets.

The Polish-Ukrainian spat comes as Ukraine forces are making sluggish progress breaking by means of Russian battle traces in a counteroffensive that has not moved as shortly or in addition to initially hoped. Kyiv’s leaders are lobbying for a brand new spherical of superior weapons, together with longer vary missiles.

U.S. Military Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers, mentioned final weekend that there’s a continued want for extra weapons and gear in Ukraine and that allies and companions are searching for methods to handle that.

A number one safety and protection knowledgeable, Michal Baranowski, mentioned that Poland gave most of what it may give earlier within the struggle, and with no plans for shipments of main gear quickly he would not see a menace to Ukraine’s capabilities within the close to time period. Nonetheless, he considers the feedback as troubling for Ukraine as its seeks to keep up Western assist within the struggle unleashed by Russia.

“The message could be very dangerous, each for Poland’s status but additionally as a result of Poland has been one of many chief advocates of army support to Ukraine. Saying Poland won’t be sending extra weapons implies that Poland can now not play this position,” mentioned Baranowski, managing director of Warsaw-based GMF East, a part of the German Marshall Fund assume tank.

He mentioned Poland’s try to indicate toughness towards Kyiv must be understood within the context of the election marketing campaign. In response to Morawiecki saying Poland would now concentrate on modernizing its personal forces, Baranowski famous that Poland is able to each modernizing its army and persevering with to assist Ukraine.

Donald Tusk, a prime opposition chief, accused Morawiecki and different ruling authorities of a “ethical and geopolitical scandal of stabbing Ukraine within the again politically after they determine to battle on the Ukrainian entrance, simply because it will likely be worthwhile for his or her marketing campaign.”

Feelings have been working excessive after Poland, Hungary and Slovakia final week introduced a brand new ban on Ukrainian grain imports, saying they needed to guard their farmers from a glut of Ukrainian grain of their markets. The grain lowers costs for native farmers and hurts their livelihood. Kyiv responded with a grievance on the World Commerce Group in opposition to the three international locations that sparked much more offended reactions from Poland.

Polish and Ukrainian agriculture ministers mentioned Thursday they have been working to resolve the state of affairs in a method that takes the pursuits of each international locations into consideration. In the meantime, Ukraine was lifting its grievance in opposition to Slovakia as the 2 sides sought a decision, Slovak authorities mentioned Thursday.

On the United Nations on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recommended that the international locations opposing Ukraine on grain have been in actual fact engaged on Russia’s behalf. Poland urgently summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to complain on Wednesday.

Morawiecki within the Polsat interview mentioned that Poland wouldn’t take steps to threaten Ukraine’s safety.

He mentioned a NATO and U.S. hub within the Polish metropolis of Rzeszow used for transporting weapons into Ukraine wouldn’t be affected. “We’re not going to danger the safety of Ukraine,” he mentioned.

A senior U.S. authorities official advised reporters in Brussels on Thursday that the USA doesn’t view Morawiecki’s statements as an indication of Western unity cracking and expects to see continued management from Poland within the effort to assist Ukraine.

The official famous that “every nation that’s contributing to Ukraine has its personal home politics and that’s only a actuality. A few of these international locations are in the course of election cycles, so that they’re additionally in the course of messaging their publics.” The official requested anonymity to talk to reporters on the topic.

The German Overseas Ministry mentioned Thursday that “now we have taken notice of the assertion from the Polish aspect.”

The ministry added that “Ukraine continues to want our full assist. It is necessary that we in Europe act decisively and in solidarity on this regard. Germany will assist Ukraine humanitarianly, politically, economically and with weapons for so long as it wants us.”


Related Press writers Lorne Cook dinner in Brussels, Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin and Karel Janicek in Prague contributed to this report.

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