Poland expects understanding of own interests from Ukraine, says Duda

Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has said in a press interview that Poland will consistently support Ukraine in its war with Russia but expects understanding from Kyiv that Warsaw must protect its national interests.

Duda told the 'Sieci' weekly that Poland had an obligation to protect its domestic market as well as that of the European Union.

The president was asked by the weekly whether Warsaw disagreed with the lifting of a blockade on the export of Ukrainian grain to Poland from September 15 in line with a decision by the European Commission. The Polish government has said it will extend the import ban on Ukrainian agricultural products.

"It is obvious that we consistently support Ukraine its defence against Russian aggression," Duda said. "But the other matter is - and this is our most important obligation - to guard the interest of the (Polish) Republic. Therefore the defence of the internal market and the European Union market, which starts with us. It is also in our interests to recognise historical truth in the space between states."

Duda was also asked about statements by the head of his International Policy Bureau, Marcin Przydacz, about Kyiv's failure to appreciate the help it has received from Warsaw.

"The minister did not mean that our friends from Ukraine should say every day in the media, 'thank you, thank you, thank you’." Duda replied. "We very often hear it from ordinary people and we appreciate it greatly. But on the part of the Ukrainian authorities we expect understanding on certain issues - including that we have our own interests and obligations."

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