Comments about Poland ceasing sending new weapons to the Ukraine are simply because resources are “running out” an expert has claimed, despite the ongoing spat between Ukraine and Poland over the Black Sea grain deal.
Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, said on Wednesday: “We no longer transfer weapons to [Ukraine], because we are now arming Poland.”
The abrupt announcement on September 20 came after a spat over Poland’s – along with Hungary and Slovakia’s – ban on the imports of Ukrainian grain – and as tensions between the two countries as a result.
The country’s president Andrzej Duda says the comments were misinterpreted in the “worst possible way” and said it was only new Polish weapons that would not be sent.
Now in exclusive comments to Express.co.uk expert Mariusz Patey, who specialises in Polish-Ukrainian relations from the Warsaw Institute, has backed the notion up saying that it’s not an escalation, merely that Poland’s “resources for new weapons are running low”.
READ MORE: Poland ‘backtracks on decision’ to stop sending weapons to Ukraine over grain
He said: “In fact, from almost the first day of open Russian military aggression against Ukraine, the Polish government, led by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, transferred equipment to the defending Ukraine and convinced unconvinced countries of the need for broadly understood assistance to Ukraine, both humanitarian, economic and in the area of defence.
“The Polish arms industry carries out commercial deliveries of equipment to Ukraine without disruptions.
“It is true that the Polish government provided free of charge mainly equipment dating back to the USSR, but modernised later on. Resources of this type of equipment are already running out.”
Mr Patey added that the focus now also includes re-stocking Poland’s modern weapons.
He said: “The Polish Army has rapidly accelerated purchases and is in the rearmament phase. Some of the purchased equipment has already arrived in Poland, some is yet to arrive.
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“Free support equipment deliveries [to Ukraine] are likely to continue.
“This will depend on the situation on the front, the activity of other Ukrainian allies, as well as Poland’s capabilities, for example those determined by the supply of new weapons and ammunition.
“Regardless of the frictions between Ukrainian and Polish politicians, and the differences of interests between Polish and Ukrainian grain producers, there is a fundamental convergence of political interests in the area of security and defence from Kremlin’s expansion.”
Poland has already sent Ukraine 320 Soviet-era tanks and 14 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, and deliveries of this old equipment is to continue – while Poland keeps the newer weapons for itself.
With Russia preventing safe routes south down the Black Sea to Turkey, central Europe is essentially the only option left if Ukraine’s grain is not to be wasted.
But this directly competes with Polish farmers, and with just under three weeks until the next Polish parliamentary elections, the spat seems to point towards Morawiecki’s priorities shifting inwards to domestic, rather than international, affairs.
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