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Poland and Ukraine to strengthen defense ties with new cooperation and support initiatives

23.01.2024 14:00
Poland is set to deepen its military cooperation with Ukraine, as revealed by Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Szejna in an interview with RMF FM.
Andrzej Szejna.
Andrzej Szejna. Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

The move is marked by both support-based and commercial transfers of military equipment, underlining an evolving defense partnership between the two nations.

In the interview, Szejna emphasized the importance of a balanced and empathetic approach to international relations, particularly in the context of Ukraine's ongoing conflict.

"Assertiveness means discussing that we can clearly, firmly refuse on some issues, and at the same time sympathize with the other side, put ourselves in their shoes, because after all, there is a war going on there. Ukraine's victory is our vital security interest," he stressed.

Szejna also highlighted the development of a defense package shaped by Ukraine's needs and preferences, indicating a collaborative approach in defense cooperation. "We would like to start very close cooperation between the Polish and Ukrainian defense industries," Szejna explained. He also addressed the challenges in assisting Ukraine with grain transfers, advocating for a balanced approach that does not harm the Polish economy.

At the upcoming Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting, Poland's delegation, led by Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Czesław Siekierski, will present its stance on trade in agricultural products with Ukraine, with new regulations expected from June 2024.

Poland’s Tusk in Kyiv

During a visit to Kyiv this week, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky outlined a new phase of defense cooperation between the two countries. Tusk announced Poland's readiness to support Ukraine with necessary military equipment and gear. He stated: "We will seek financing together and will not avoid commercial principles when it comes to Polish supplies to Ukraine."

Zelensky, in response, referred to the collaborative effort as a "new Polish defense package," indicating a significant increase in arms purchases for Ukrainian defense. "There is a new form of our cooperation for a larger scale of arms purchases for Ukrainian needs. This is a Polish loan to Ukraine," Zelensky said.

Source: PAP, RMF FM