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Ukrainian PM’s criticism ‘not very sensible,' says Polish deputy FM

21.07.2023 07:00
The Ukrainian prime minister’s remarks criticising Polish measures to protect the domestic agri-food market “are not very sensible,” a Polish deputy foreign minister has said.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński.PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Paweł Jabłoński made the comment after a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

He was referring to a Twitter post by Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

The Polish deputy foreign minister said: “I saw this post and in my view it’s not a very diplomatic remark. It’s not a very sensible remark.”

'Poland is helping Ukraine enormously'

Jabłoński told reporters: “Poland is helping Ukraine enormously. But everything we do for Ukraine, and for other allies, we do to pursue our national interest. This is always our guiding principle.”

He added there were also “issues on which we differ with Ukraine” and Poland did not hesitate to bring them up.

Jabłoński said: “Of course, we’ll be discussing these issues, but in my view politics should not be conducted through aggressive posts on Twitter, but should rather be based on an analysis of what Poland has really done for Ukraine. I believe that everyone who has been following developments is aware of what the situation is like.”

He told reporters that "Poland wants to have the best possible relations with Ukraine, but this requires mutual efforts."

“We must protect the interests of our farmers, our entrepreneurs, and our consumers," Jabłoński also said. "This is our guiding principle.”

On Wednesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that his country would keep its borders closed to Ukrainian grain after September 15, if the European Union’s executive Commission did not extend the current arrangement allowing Ukraine’s EU neighbours Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, the PAP news agency reported.

Morawiecki added that Poland would also extend the ban to other farming products from Ukraine if necessary, to protect the domestic market from being destabilised.

“We never leave our farmers alone,” he declared.

Ukraine’s Shmyhal responded to the Polish prime minister’s words on social media, saying in a tweet: “Russia has disrupted the grain initiative, destroying the infrastructure of our Black Sea ports and once again provoking a global food crisis. During this critical time, Poland intends to continue blocking the export of UA grain to the EU. This is an unfriendly and populist move that will severely impact global food security and Ukraine's economy.”

He added: “We urge our partners and the European Commission to ensure unimpeded export of all Ukrainian agriculture products to the EU. This is an act of solidarity not only with Ukraine but with the world, which relies on our grain.”  

At a news conference in the southern Polish city of Katowice on Thursday, Morawiecki said that the Ukrainian prime minister was “not entirely accurate” in his interpretation of the intentions of the Polish government.

Morawiecki told reporters: “Poland allowed the transit of Ukrainian grain and we continue to allow it… Poland won’t contribute to the destabilisation of global markets. In fact, we are helping transport Ukrainian grain abroad.”

The Polish prime minister said his country would also facilitate the transit of Ukrainian grain in the future “as far as possible.”

“However, we’ll not allow our internal market to be destabilised,” he told the news conference.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Friday is day 513 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, polskieradio24.pl, wpolityce.pl, consilium.europa.eu