The summoning of the Polish ambassador should never have happened – said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in response to an ongoing diplomatic row with Ukraine. Polish diplomat was summoned to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to the words of one of the presidential aides. The Ukrainian side perceived this statement as an accusation against Ukrainian refugees, alleging ingratitude towards Poland for its assistance. Polish side retaliated by “inviting” the Ukrainian ambassador to see its own Foreign Minister. Both sides are now trying to cool down the tensions.
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On Monday, Presidential Minister Przydacz discussed the imposition of a ban on the importation of Ukrainian grain into Poland during his appearance on TVP Info, the news channel of the Polish national public broadcaster.
He emphasized that “the defense of Polish farmers’ interests is now of utmost importance.” We are in the harvest season, and Polish grain must be collected, stored, and distributed at an appropriate and fair price. Ukraine has received significant support from Poland, and it would be worthwhile for them to appreciate the role that Poland has played for Ukraine in recent months and years.
The ban on the import of four agricultural products from Ukraine will end on September 15. Poland, along with four other EU countries – Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary – are demanding an extension of the ban. They claim that the sale of Ukrainian grain during transit through those countries ruins the market and is a threat to the local farmers, who can’t compete with the prices that the Ukrainian companies are able to offer.
The Polish government has announced that if Brussels does not extend the ban, Warsaw will close the border to these products.
Regarding this matter, Przydacz expressed his position on TVP. – The most important thing today is to defend the interest of Polish farmers.
Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andrij Sybiha, responded to Minister Przydacz’s words. In a Facebook post, he expressed the opinion that his fellow countrymen are also losing their lives on the front lines in defense of other countries in the region, including Poland.
“Ukrainians today are sacrificing their lives, also for their Polish friends. It is the highest level of gratitude, and it is very unfortunate that some politicians intentionally fail to notice this, demanding something even higher from Ukraine. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they are becoming tools of the Russian aggressor. They are choosing the side of evil,” he stated.
“The Polish weapons in the hands of the Ukrainian military effectively deters the Russian aggressor, and supporting us with weapons is not an act of charity, but an investment in Poland’s own security,” he wrote. Sybiha argued that “Ukrainians are giving their lives for their Polish friends.”
Oleg Nikolayenko, the spokesperson for Ukrainian diplomacy, stated that the claims regarding Ukrainians’ alleged ingratitude towards Poland are false and unacceptable.
The Polish ambassador was “invited” by the Ukrainian Ministry in a statement posted on their website. The meeting took place at the ministry on Tuesday.
“During the meeting, it was emphasized that statements regarding the alleged ingratitude of Ukrainians for Poland’s assistance have no basis in reality and, as such, are unacceptable,” stated the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oleh Nikolienko, as quoted in the ministry’s statement.
“We firmly believe that the friendship between Ukraine and Poland goes far beyond political pragmatism. Politics should not question the mutual understanding and strength of the relationship between our nations. No declarations will hinder our joint fight for peace and the construction of a common European future,” added Nikolienko.
In the evening, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter that “following the statements made by Ukrainian authorities, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Poland has been invited to the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.
Later, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paweł Jabłoński, clarified to the Polish Press Agency that “the Ukrainian ambassador is currently in Kyiv, attending an ambassadorial meeting. Therefore, his deputy in charge of the mission will be invited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tomorrow and will be received at the official level.”
However, upon returning from Kyiv, at the earliest possible opportunity after returning to Poland, the ambassador (Wasyl – ed.) Zwarycz will be given an appointment for a discussion,” Jabłoński said.
He emphasized that the invitation is related to “many improper statements, in our opinion, made by Ukrainian authorities, including those related to the summoning of Ambassador Cichocki, as well as several previous ones.”
Polish Prime Minister: The summoning of the Polish ambassador should never have happened
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also commented on the matter. “The summoning of the Polish ambassador, who remained in Kyiv as the only ambasador from any country during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs should never have happened. In international politics, in the face of an ongoing war, considering the immense support Poland has provided to Ukraine, such mistakes should not occur,” wrote the head of the Polish government on Twitter.
“We will always defend Poland’s good name and its security, and the interest of no other state will ever surpass the interest of the Republic,” he added.
Emotions Should Definitely Subside, Says Volodymyr Zelensky
Late Tuesday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his thoughts in a different manner.
“The nations of Europe know that the freedom of all is strongest when it is the shared freedom of everyone. In Europe, we understand how to unite and defend our values side by side, regardless of seasons and moods, political currents, and personal ambitions. However, we now observe various indications that in certain places, politics seeks to surpass unity, and emotions override fundamental national interests,” he stated.
“Ukraine is fighting for its own freedom and that of the entire Europe, and we are grateful to every nation that aids us. We highly appreciate the historical support of Poland, which, together with us, has become a true shield of Europe – from sea to sea. And in this shield, there can be no cracks. We won’t allow any political moments to spoil the relations between the Ukrainian and Polish nations, and emotions should unquestionably subside. The freedom and prosperity of our people, the values of our Europe, and the victory over our common Russian adversary outweigh everything,” he added.
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