The United States has urged Poland to clarify its stance on providing further military assistance to Ukraine, according to a senior US defense official cited by Bloomberg. The request comes after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Poland would cease supplying weapons to Kiev and instead focus on strengthening its own armed forces. However, the US official stated that Poland’s exact position on military assistance to Ukraine remains unclear.
The ambiguity in Warsaw’s stance has raised concerns in Washington, as the US is seeking clarity on Poland’s commitment to supporting Ukraine. The two countries are currently embroiled in a dispute over Ukrainian grain exports, with Poland alleging that these exports are negatively affecting its own agricultural market.
Despite the disagreements between Warsaw and Kiev, the US does not believe that they pose a threat to the unity of the Western coalition supporting Ukraine. Bloomberg notes that military support for Ukraine could potentially span multiple years.
A European diplomat, speaking to Bloomberg, revealed that Polish diplomats have privately assured foreign counterparts that Poland’s military support for Ukraine will continue, albeit on a smaller scale. The diplomat also acknowledged that the loss of Poland’s support could undermine NATO unity.
Poland’s position on the issue has been inconsistent in recent days. Prime Minister Morawiecki initially announced that Poland would halt arms shipments to Ukraine and seek modern weapons for its own troops. He also emphasized that Ukraine fails to comprehend the destabilizing impact its imports have had on Poland’s farming industry.
However, the Polish government later attempted to backtrack on the prime minister’s statements, affirming that Poland would continue to supply military equipment to Ukraine in accordance with existing agreements.
President Andrzej Duda further contributed to the discussion, stating that Morawiecki’s remarks had been misinterpreted. Duda explained that Poland would supply Ukraine with older weapons that it no longer needs, rather than transferring the weapons necessary for modernizing the Polish Army. He suggested that decommissioned weapons could be sent to Ukraine instead.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau echoed the sentiment, claiming that Poland was being forced to pay the bill twice. He alleged that Poland faced unfair economic competition from Ukraine in terms of grain exports, despite providing military assistance to Kiev. This economic competition prompted Poland, along with Hungary and Slovakia, to defy the European Union’s decision to lift the embargo on Ukrainian grain. Warsaw justified its unilateral move by citing the need to protect its farmers.
Kiev strongly criticized Poland’s decision, labeling it illegal and vowing to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization.
In conclusion, the US is seeking clarification from Poland regarding its stance on providing military assistance to Ukraine. While Poland has made contradictory statements, there are indications that it will continue to support Ukraine on a smaller scale. However, the dispute over grain exports and concerns about economic competition have complicated the situation.