Poland Halts Weapon Transfers to Kiev, Paris Regrets Regrettable Tensions

The European Union has lifted the ban on importing Ukrainian grains, which was imposed by Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania in May to protect their farmers. This announcement has sparked retaliatory embargoes, to which Ukraine responded by filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday. The announcement came just hours after Poland summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to protest against President Volodymyr Zelensky’s remarks at the United Nations, where he criticized countries for indirectly supporting Russia.

Relations between Warsaw and Kiev are strained, despite being allies. Poland announced on Wednesday evening that it will no longer transfer any weapons to Ukraine, at a crucial moment in the counter-offensive against Russia. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated that their focus is on the rapid modernization and arming of the Polish army to become one of the most powerful land armies in Europe. However, he did not mention when Poland stopped supplying weapons to Ukraine or if it was related to the conflict over Ukrainian grains, which Poland banned imports of to protect its farmers.

The announcement by Brussels on Friday to lift the ban on importing Ukrainian grains, imposed by five EU countries in May, has sparked anger and led to unilateral embargoes. In response, Ukraine announced on Monday that it would file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO). As a result, the Polish Prime Minister warned on Wednesday that they would expand the list of prohibited Ukrainian imports.

The Polish president compared Ukraine to a drowning man, implying that saving Ukraine may also harm the one trying to help. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that pressuring Poland in multilateral forums or filing complaints with international courts is not an appropriate method for resolving disputes between countries. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for putting emotions aside and criticized the incorrect statements made by the Polish president.

France expressed regret over the tensions between Poland and Ukraine, attributing them to domestic politics. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized that Brussels’ decision to lift the ban on importing Ukrainian grains will not disrupt competition or disturb the grain markets.

(Translated and adapted from original source: https://www.20minutes.fr/monde/3132929-20211007-ukraine-pologne-accord-armement-scalde-points-non-dits-fond-guerre-cereales)

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