Polish ministry summons Ukrainian ambassador over Zelensky's remarks

Vasyl Zvarych, the Ukrainian ambassador to Poland was summoned "urgently" by Polish MFA Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

The Polish government summoned Ukraine’s ambassador to Warsaw to the Foreign Ministry, and warned that it might broaden an embargo on Ukrainian agri-products after Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to accuse Poland of helping Moscow by turning "solidarity into political theatre."

Relations between the two countries, which have become extremely close owing to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have become fraught recently over Poland's decision to extend an embargo, along with Slovakia and Bulgaria, on some Ukrainian agri-products in order to protect its farming sector.

This has riled Ukraine and in an X post, later deleted, Zelensky said: "Alarmingly, some in Europe play out solidarity in political theatre -  turning grain into a thriller."

He added that this was helping Moscow. 

In reaction, on Wednesday, the Polish Foreign Ministry announced that it had summoned "urgently" Vasyl Zvarych, the Ukrainian ambassador to Poland. 

Zvarych was received by Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski who "conveyed Poland's vigorous protest against the statements made by Volodymyr Zelensky at the UN General Assembly yesterday alleging that some EU countries had feigned solidarity while indirectly supporting Russia."

Jablonski added that the comments, in relation to Poland, concerned "a thesis that was untrue" and, moreover, were "unjust towards Poland which has been supporting Ukraine since the first days of the war."

"Placing pressure on Poland in multilateral forums or sending grievances to international tribunals are not appropriate methods of resolving disputes between our countries," said Jablonski.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Jablonski added that these actions would fail because the measures taken by the Polish government to defend the interests of the country’s farmers were consistent with national, EU and international law.

Later on Wednesday, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, while referring to Zelensky's comments, appeared to warn that Poland could widen its ban on Polish agri-products.

"They are very out of place," the prime minister told state-owned broadcaster TVP Info. "If further escalation occurs on the Ukrainian side, we will appropriately apply further steps within the embargo framework on our side."

At the moment wheat, maize and sunflower and rape seeds are banned.

"We have said since the very beginning that the fate of the Polish farmer and Polish agriculture is the most important to us," he added.

 "And that is why we have clearly conveyed the message, one could say an ultimatum, to the East and the West, to Kyiv, to Brussels, and to Berlin: Either you agree to extend this embargo, the one we worked out, not to say forced, in May and June this year, or we will implement it ourselves," Morawiecki said.

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