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Poland executed sending arms to Ukraine, chief says, as commerce dispute escalates

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

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki mentioned in an interview late Wednesday that Poland is now not transferring weapons to Ukraine. He made the remark as his populist social gathering faces strain from a far-right social gathering in a nationwide election on Oct. 15. The far-right social gathering, Confederation, says Poland will not be 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 now we are going to arm ourselves with probably the most trendy weapons,” Morawiecki mentioned in an interview on Polsat, a non-public tv broadcaster. 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 verify Thursday that Warsaw wouldn’t conform to extra army assist. 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.

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

“The message could be very dangerous, each for Poland’s popularity but in addition as a result of Poland has been one of many chief advocates of army assist to Ukraine. Saying Poland won’t be sending extra weapons signifies 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 point out toughness towards Kyiv have to be understood within the context of the election marketing campaign. In response to Morawiecki saying Poland would now deal with modernizing its personal forces, Baranowski famous that Poland is able to each modernizing its army and persevering with to assist Ukraine.

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

Feelings have been operating 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.

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 advised that the international locations opposing Ukraine on grain have been in reality 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 threat the safety of Ukraine,” he mentioned.

A senior U.S. authorities official advised reporters in Brussels on Thursday that the U.S. 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 midst of election cycles, so that they’re additionally in the midst of messaging their publics.”

The official requested anonymity to transient reporters frankly on the delicate growth.

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

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


Lorne {Cook} in Brussels, Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin and Karel Janicek in Prague contributed.

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