April 15, 2024

Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, Polish Minister for EU Affairs, has suggested that Poland’s support for Ukraine may be reduced amid the crisis over Ukrainian agricultural imports.

Source: Szynkowski vel Sęk in an interview with PAP, as reported by European Pravda

Details: Answering a question about the conflict over the grain embargo, the minister said the Polish government is “relentless” in this matter, taking into account the interests of farmers.

“Ukraine’s actions make no impression on us… but they do make a certain impression on Polish public opinion. The polls prove this, as well as the level of public support for further assistance to Ukraine. And this is harmful to Ukraine itself,” said Szynkowski vel Sęk.

He stressed that the absence of public support for assistance to Ukraine at the same level as before would mean that it would have to be reduced.

“We would like to further support Ukraine, but we must have the support of the Polish people in this matter for that to be possible. Therefore, unless there is support from the Polish people, it will be challenging for us to continue to support Ukraine as we have done so far,” the minister said.

Asked whether agrarian issues would be a bargaining chip in Ukraine’s possible accession to the EU, he stressed that Ukraine must fulfil clearly defined conditions in a range of areas.

“Ukraine, as a country with a highly developed agricultural sector, must realise that it faces a number of specific conditions to join the European Union. And not only in this issue,” he said.

“Ukraine will have to fulfil all the conditions, and Ukrainian agriculture may certainly have access to European markets, but not in a way that threatens Polish farmers,” the minister added.

Background: Earlier, Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller admitted that Poland is likely to cut financial support for Ukrainians seeking refuge from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Ukraine has applied to the World Trade Organisation for consultations on the EU agri-embargo and is ready to impose a ban on imports of certain goods from Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

During his address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was alarmed to see “some of our friends in Europe play out solidarity in political theatre” by turning grain supplies into a thriller, in fact helping “to set the stage for a Moscow actor”.

Zelenskyy was supposed to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, but the planned meeting did not occur.

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