Poland seeks to mend Ukraine rift with arms supplies U-turn

    WORLD  21 September 2023 - 19:31

    The Polish government sought to walk back remarks by its premier that the country had stopped weapons shipments to Ukraine, tapping the brakes on an escalating dispute that’s shaken a key wartime alliance.

    After Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Poland is no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine, his office aimed to lower the temperature following a heated exchange of barbs this week that’s dismayed allies and undermined a relationship that’s been crucial to aid to Kyiv, according to Bloomberg.

    “Poland is only carrying out previously agreed supplies of ammunition and armaments, including those resulting from the contracts signed with Ukraine,” government spokesman Piotr Muller said. Those include a contract to deliver locally manufactured howitzers, he added. “Poland consistently helped repel Russia’s attack.”

    The sparring marked a sharp contrast to the unity on display between the two allies since Russia’s invasion last year, with Poland a key conduit of weapons and aid to Ukraine. But the comity reached its limit after Warsaw extended a unilateral ban on grain imports to appease restive farmers, an important constituency for the ruling party ahead of a tightly contested election on October 15.

    The prime minister’s statement on weapons to Ukraine was misunderstood and wrongly interpreted, a government official said on condition of anonymity. Another official said Poland has no more weaponry that can be donated, but ammunition shipments will continue.

    The spiraling war of words between Warsaw and Kyiv has alarmed governments committed to supporting Ukraine.
    Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas told reporters that cutting off aid to Kyiv wasn’t on the table in talks with his Polish counterpart the day before.

    On the contrary, “We discussed aid to Ukraine, the Ramstein format, coalitions, supplies - that is, the complete opposite things,” Anusauskas said.

    Caliber.Az

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