WARSAW, Poland — Poland on Wednesday announced it will stop supplying weapons to Ukraine in order to prioritize its own defense, according to local reports.
Local outlet TVN24 reported that Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Poland will no longer transfer weapons to Ukraine and will “now arm [themselves] with the most modern weapons.”
“We know perfectly well that Ukraine is defending itself against the brutal Russian attack. We won’t jeopardize her safety. Our hub in Rzeszów, in consultation with the Americans and NATO, still plays the same role,” he reportedly said in an interview with Polsat News in reference to the Polish city where international weapons shipments come in and depart for Ukraine.
The announcement prompted shock throughout the international community, as Poland has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters after Russian forces invaded it in February 2022.
However, Polish-Ukrainian relations have been strained in recent weeks after Poland banned Ukrainian grain imports to safeguard its own farmers.
Poland made the move after the European Commission decided not to extend restrictions on Ukrainian grain and other produce, with Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia saying that they intended to maintain their own restrictions on Ukrainian imports, as reported by Breitbart News’s Kurt Zindulka.
Ukraine threatened to file a complaint against Poland at the World Trade Organization, prompting anger from Warsaw.
Morawiecki dismissed the suggestion that Poland’s decision was about the Polish parliamentary elections next month, which has become a heated contest between the current conservative populist government led by the Law and Justice (PIS) party and the more international-oriented Civic Platform party.
I regret that the Ukrainian oligarchs started pushing their grain onto the Polish market, without taking into account the interests of Polish farmers. They caused prices to crash. We had to guarantee a price of PLN 1,400 per tonne of Polish wheat – this was in spring. We have fulfilled all our promises and I do not see any threat now from Ukrainian grain because we have blocked this import.
Morawiecki also defended Polish President Andrzej Duda’s remarks in New York that Ukraine was behaving like a “drowning person who is grasping at everything.”
On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week, Duda said:
Everyone who has ever participated in saving a drowning person knows that a drowning man is extremely dangerous; that he can pull deep. It has unbelievable strength due to personal fear, the influence of adrenaline and can simply drown the rescuer.
It’s a bit like the situation between Poland and Ukraine. Ukraine is under Russian attack, no doubt in a very difficult situation, grasps everything possible. Can you blame her for that?
Do you have to act to defend yourself against harming the drowning person? Of course, we must act in such a way as to defend ourselves against harming us, because if the drowning man leads to damage and drowns us, he will not get help. So we have to look after our interests and we will do it effectively and decisively.
“These are very accurate words,” Morawiecki reportedly said, adding:
If I were to look for something to justify (Ukraine), it would be only what we all know perfectly well: that Ukraine is defending itself against the brutal Russian attack and we understand that this attack creates a completely unprecedented situation, one that we have not faced since World War II. world war. This is simply a regular war.
Morawiecki said Polish weapons production is in full swing and that Poland is focusing on modernizing and quickly arming the Polish army so that it becomes one of the strongest armies in Europe.