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Hundreds of Polish firms ready to help rebuild Ukraine: PM

05.04.2023 22:00
Hundreds of Polish companies are ready to help with the postwar reconstruction of Ukraine, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in Warsaw on Wednesday after talks with visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Polands Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (right) and Ukraines President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Warsaw on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (right) and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) hold a joint news conference after their talks in Warsaw on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.Twitter/Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland

Poland’s Morawiecki and Ukraine’s Zelensky met in Warsaw on Wednesday afternoon to discuss a host of economic, security and social issues, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

In the presence of the two leaders, the Polish and Ukrainian governments signed a memorandum on cooperation in the postwar reconstruction of Ukraine, as well as an agreement on cooperation in the joint production of 125mm tank ammunition, according to officials. 

'We are shaping the future vision of Europe'

At a joint news conference with the Ukrainian president, the Polish prime minister said that Zelensky’s visit was “an expression of gratitude” for Poland's support to Ukraine following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February last year. 

He added that “Poland has proved to be a truly brotherly country” for its southeastern neighbour. 

Morawiecki stated: “The past year has brought not only a tightening of Polish-Ukrainian relations, but also the creation of a peace plan, an economic plan for the future.”

The Polish prime minister told reporters: “Today I told President Zelensky that several hundred Polish companies are already prepared to take part in the reconstruction of Ukraine. They will enjoy a preferential position when it comes to rebuilding Ukraine after its victory, which will hopefully happen as soon as possible.”    

He added: “It’s one of the reasons why this visit is immensely important, because today we are shaping the future vision of Europe.”

Morawiecki told reporters that “Poland was the first to warn against Russia and the first to support Ukraine.”

He said: “Now Poland is the first to seek to take part in the plan to rebuild Ukraine and I am convinced that, after Russia is held accountable for its war crimes, it will happen.”  

'We knew perfectly well what Putin is capable of'

The Polish prime minister said that Russia’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine “came as a shock to Western leaders and the Western public” because the West “viewed Russia according to Western criteria” and “sought to tame Moscow through business links.”   

He added: “But we knew perfectly well what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is capable of, what the Kremlin is capable of.” 

Morawiecki told reporters that “Lech Kaczyński, the then Polish president, warned against Russia” in 2008, but the West dismissed his warning “with condescending smiles.”

Morawiecki told reporters that earlier in the day, he and Zelensky had paid tribute to the late Lech Kaczyński at his memorial in Warsaw’s Piłsudskiego Square.

Polish-made weapons for Ukraine  

Poland’s prime minister said that Ukraine was buying Polish-made arms to strengthen its war effort against the Russian invasion, with the purchases including Rosomak wheeled infantry fighting vehicles, Krab gun howitzers, Piorun man-portable air-defence systems, and Rak self-propelled wheeled gun-mortars. 

Morawiecki and Zelensky also signed a letter of intent on the deliveries of Polish-made defence equipment to Ukraine, especially the Rosomak military vehicles, the PAP news agency reported. 

Morawiecki reaffirmed Poland's support for Ukraine’s aspirations to join the European Union and NATO, telling the news conference that “the heroic Ukrainian nation belongs in the EU and NATO.”

Problems with Ukrainian grain, agricultural products

Poland’s prime minister told reporters that he and Zelensky had also discussed "the issue of the transport of Ukrainian grain through Poland."  

He stated: “We didn’t gloss over the topic that poses difficulties for Poles today … namely the problems we are having on the Polish market with Ukrainian grain and Ukrainian agricultural products.”

Morawiecki announced: “We have proposed to each other a certain solution, which must be implemented quickly, because it is obvious that these problems are causing us a very big headache today.” 

'A chance to write history anew'

The Polish prime minister also said that Poland and Ukraine had had “a difficult history” and revealed that he and the Ukrainian president had discussed the “tragic killings in the Volhynia region,” known as the Volhynia Massacre.  

The name refers to the tragic events between 1943 and 1945 when Ukrainian nationalists slaughtered around 100,000 Poles in Volhynia and neighbouring regions, according to historians.   

Morawiecki told reporters: “Today there is a chance to write history anew and to base it on truth. We discussed this with President Zelensky.”

He added the talks touched upon “the tragic killings in Volhynia, how we should investigate the truth, and secure permission for exhumations. We are pushing very hard for this.”

Polish weapons saving Ukrainian lives: Zelensky    

For his part, Zelensky told reporters about Poland’s military assistance to his country and "the Ukrainian grain issue," among other topics.

He hailed Poland’s new “package for the Ukrainian army, for the defence of the freedom of Ukraine, Poland and the entire world.” 

Zelensky mentioned contracts for Polish-made Rosomak military vehicles, Rak gun-mortars and the “much-needed Piorun air-defence systems.”

He said: “It’s fantastic that you are producing them. It’s a very important product that is saving Ukrainian lives.”

Poland, Ukraine to 'create joint facilities for the production of weapons, ammunition'

Zelensky added: “Together with our brothers, we have also decided today to create joint facilities for the production of weapons and ammunition.”

The Ukrainian president declared: “We discussed issues regarding our farmers, Ukrainian and Polish farmers. We have found a way out.”

He told reporters, as quoted by the Reuters news agency: "I believe that in the coming days and weeks we will finally resolve all issues as there cannot be any questions, any complications between such close partners and real friends as Poland and Ukraine."

During his one-day state visit to Poland, the Ukrainian president earlier on Wednesday held talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Later in the day, Zelensky was due to attend a Polish-Ukrainian business forum alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda.

The two presidents, accompanied by their wives, were also scheduled to meet with volunteers helping Ukraine, before Zelensky’s planned address to the Polish people in the courtyard of Warsaw’s historic Royal Castle.

Wednesday is day 406 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, interia.pl