Poland needs its new weapons to strengthen security says Duda
Poland cannot give the new weapons it buys in order to strengthen its own security to someone else, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has said commenting on an earlier statement by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
The head of government, asked on Wednesday by private broadcaster Polsat News whether Poland would still support Ukraine militarily, replied that currently Poland was not providing Ukraine with any weapons because now "we will arm ourselves with the most modern weapons."
"Our hub in Rzeszów, in consultation with the Americans and Nato, still plays the same role it has played and will continue to play," Prime Minister Morawiecki said.
On Thursday, government spokesman Piotr Mueller explained in an interview with PAP "that Poland is only carrying out previously agreed deliveries of ammunition and weaponry, including those resulting from contracts signed with Ukraine."
"These are, among others, the biggest foreign contract signed by the Polish defence industry since 1989 - for the supply of 'Krab' self-propelled Howitzers," Mueller added.
President Duda, asked on Thursday about the prime minister's words and whether we would continue to transfer weapons to Ukraine, emphasised that it was "very good that a statement by the government spokesman that clarifies this matter came out today."
In the president's opinion, "the prime minister's words were interpreted in the worst possible way."
Duda said that Morawiecki's statement was related to the new weapons Poland is buying for the Polish Army.
"Well, in my opinion, the prime minister simply said this: we will not transfer the new weapons that we are currently buying as part of the modernisation of the Polish Army to Ukraine," Duda said.
He added that he understood the prime minister's statement because a few months ago he talked to him about arming Ukraine.
"We both were on the same position. We cannot transfer our new weapons, which we are currently buying for billions of dollars for the Polish Army in order to strengthen it, to strengthen Poland's security, to someone else. To anyone," said Duda.
"I will be the first to oppose the transfer of new weapons that we now receive from South Korea or the United States, such as the new Abrams, Patriot systems or HIMARS," he explained.
At the same time, he added that Poland has signed contracts with Ukraine, including: for the delivery of Krabs. "We have to fulfill this contract and we are fulfilling it all the time," he said, adding that we also have other agreements with Ukraine regarding ammunition and mine-clearing vehicles.
Duda explained that "as we receive new weapons from Korea, from the United States, we will also free up the weapons that are currently in stock."
Some of the equipment being removed from the army's stocks, Duda added, could be transferred to Ukraine, "just as we have done so far, by transferring post-Soviet weapons".