EU funds needed for Poland to continue helping Ukraine says dep FM

"If we want to support a fighting Ukraine, then the EU... and Berlin must support Poland," Mularczyk said. Marcin Bielecki/PAP

The unblocking of Poland's access to EU post-pandemic recovery funding is essential for the country’s continuous support for Ukraine, a Polish deputy foreign minister has said.

Brussels has frozen Warsaw out of the multi-billion euro fund because the Polish government, it argues, has failed to withdraw or alter a series of changes to the country's judicial system which the EU considers a threat to the rule of law in Poland.

While visiting Berlin on Wednesday, Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a deputy foreign minister, told a press conference that during his talks with German officials he argued that "it is extremely important that funds from the Recovery Fund for Poland be released, because this is what the Polish economy needs."

"If we want to support a fighting Ukraine, then the EU... and Berlin must support Poland," he said.

On Tuesday, Poland's envoy to the United Nations, Krzysztof Szczerski, cited OECD data showing that Poland spends the equivalent of around 1.5 percent of its GDP on humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

He said that over 200,000 schoolchildren from Ukraine attended Polish schools and that the government provided medical care and shelter to refugees, also inside Ukraine.

"These are significant costs, and the needs are growing every moment. Unfortunately, as long as Russian targeted attacks on energy infrastructure continue... the number of people in urgent need of help will also grow," he added.