Poland Declines Invitation to International Defense Forum in Kiev, Ukraine
Poland has declined an invitation to participate in an international defense forum held in Kiev, Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian ambassador in Warsaw, Vasily Zvarych. In an interview with TVN24 news channel on Monday, Zvarych revealed that Poland was among the first countries to receive an invitation to the event but chose to turn it down. He emphasized that Kiev respects Poland’s decision and stressed that there is no reason to blame Ukraine for Poland’s absence.
The International Defense Industries forum took place in Kiev last Friday, attracting company representatives from the US, the UK, Germany, Türkiye, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. The event saw the signing of 20 agreements covering various defense-related matters, including drone fabrication, armored vehicle repair and manufacturing, and ammunition production.
During the forum, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced the creation of an “alliance of defense industries,” describing it as a large-scale international coalition for producing weapons and military equipment. Zelensky also revealed that this venture would be financed through the sale of confiscated Russian assets.
Polish officials’ decision not to attend the event comes amid a continued deterioration of Polish-Ukrainian relations. Last month, Poland, along with Slovakia and Hungary, unilaterally extended an embargo on Ukrainian grain to prevent it from “flooding” and destabilizing the agricultural market. Kiev labeled the import ban as “illegal” and filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the three EU states.
In response, President Zelensky accused Polish officials of “playing out solidarity in a political theater” and suggested that Warsaw’s grain ban was actually helping Russia. Polish President Andrzej Duda, on the other hand, characterized Ukraine as “a drowning man” who risks dragging those trying to rescue him under the water, reflecting the tense exchanges between the two countries.
Despite the strained relations, Ambassador Zvarych highlighted that Ukraine continues to value its partnership with Poland and hopes to strengthen bilateral ties in the future. He expressed optimism about the potential for improved cooperation and stressed the need to focus on shared interests and a constructive dialogue.
While Poland’s absence from the international defense forum in Kiev is undoubtedly a setback for cooperation between the two countries, both sides seem willing to work towards overcoming their differences and finding common ground. The forum itself demonstrated Ukraine’s determination to enhance its defense capabilities and forge international alliances in the face of ongoing security challenges.
As the situation in Eastern Europe continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how Poland and Ukraine will navigate their complex relationship and whether they can find a path towards reconciliation and cooperation in the future.