Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s recent comments suggesting a lack of solidarity on the part of Poland were deemed inappropriate by Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski. Poland and Ukraine, historically strong allies, have been embroiled in a bitter dispute over the influx of cheap Ukrainian grain into the European Union country.
In an interview with Poland’s Polsat broadcaster published on Monday, Trzaskowski characterized the Ukrainian president’s speech at the UN General Assembly in New York last Tuesday as a “very sad situation.” He acknowledged that Zelensky had “exaggerated” and got carried away in his veiled criticism of Poland.
Despite criticizing Zelensky’s remarks, Trzaskowski, a member of the Civic Platform party in opposition to the ruling Law and Justice party, also criticized the Polish government’s handling of the issue. He argued that the dispute should have been resolved quietly but suggested that the government deliberately chose to escalate the situation publicly in hopes of gaining more votes ahead of the upcoming parliamentary election.
Addressing his supporters in the city of Swidnik last Friday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki cautioned Zelensky against insulting Poles again, referring to the Ukrainian president’s recent remarks at the UN. Zelensky had claimed during his speech that “some of our friends in Europe play out solidarity in a political theater, turning the issue of grain into a thriller.”
Poland swiftly reacted to Zelensky’s comment by summoning the Ukrainian ambassador. The relationship between the two countries soured after Poland declined to lift its ban on Ukrainian grain, citing the need to protect its own farmers from an influx of cheap produce from Ukraine. In response, Ukraine lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization, alleging that Poland’s restrictions were illegal.
The rift between the two nations saw Morawiecki declare earlier this month that Poland would no longer be transferring weapons to Ukraine. However, President Andrzej Duda later softened the message, stating that Ukraine can still expect to receive outdated weapons from Polish stocks.
The ongoing grain dispute is causing tension between Poland and Ukraine, who have traditionally been close allies. Both nations are now grappling with finding a resolution that satisfies their national interests without jeopardizing their relationship. As the parliamentary election approaches, it remains to be seen how both sides will navigate this sensitive issue.
Source: RT News [link to full article]