Poland spends EUR 1.5 bln on military aid to Ukraine

Mykola Kalyeniak/PAP

Poland has spent over PLN 7 billion (EUR 1.51 billion) on military aid for Ukraine, a senior prime ministerial aide said on Thursday.

Michal Dworczyk, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, claimed that the amount was more than any of other EU country had spent.

"Every week, arms leave Poland - over PLN 7 billion has been spent to date," he said at a conference on local government in Wroclaw. "There is no other country in the EU that has supported Ukraine militarily like Poland."

Poland has been one of the most energetic supporters of Ukraine in its war with Russia, and has provided its neighbour with extensive military aid, including main battle tanks.

Dworczyk also said that Poland is providing humanitarian aid, pointing out that billions of zloties have been spent on support for Ukraine and aiding refugees in Poland.

"Every week at least a thousand tonnes of the highest quality food leaves Poland just within the framework of government aid, and to that is added the aid of NGOs and local governments," Dworczyk said.

He added that EU money had to be found to aid refugees. "We're dealing with the biggest migration crisis in Europe since the Second World War," he said, going on to accuse the EU of "consciously taking the decision not to allocate separate funds to help countries that accept refugees."

"There is an attempt to mix it in the same pot and sell it politically and image-wise as a great help," Dworczyk told the panel.

The prime ministerial aide described Brussels' position on refugee aid as 'hypocrisy,' saying, "In Brussels there is a great deal of talk about aid to Ukraine and Ukrainians, about support for those countries that have accepted refugees, but at best the proposals are to shift the funds that countries already possess to aid refugees."

He went on to say that based on data on Ukrainian cell phone numbers, the number of Ukrainians in Poland can be estimated to be between 2.5 and 3 million.