Ukraine and Poland called in the ambassadors from each other’s countries on Tuesday (Aug 1) as a dispute escalated after a foreign policy adviser to Poland’s president said Kyiv should show more appreciation for Warsaw’s support in its war with Russia.
The adviser, Marcin Przydacz, also said the Polish government must defend the interests of the country’s farmers – a reference to a ban on imports of Ukrainian commodities which will expire next month.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a plea for unity amid the diplomatic manoeuvring, saying there could be no “crack” in the shield that solid Polish support had provided for Ukraine.
Kyiv and Warsaw have been firm allies throughout the conflict that erupted with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. But the exchanges reflected contentious issues.
Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko said the Polish ambassador was told in the meeting that statements about Ukraine’s alleged ungratefulness for Poland’s help were “untrue and unacceptable”.
“We are convinced that Ukrainian-Polish friendship is much deeper than political expediency. Politics should not call into question the mutual understanding and strength of relations between our peoples,” a Ukrainian statement said.
Poland also called in the Ukrainian ambassador to Warsaw in response to the “comments of representatives of Ukrainian authorities,” Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter.
The social media post did not specify what comments it referred to.
POLITICS SOMETIMES “ABOVE UNITY”
Zelenskyy, also writing on X, said the dispute exposed “various signals that politics is sometimes trying to be above unity”.
“We greatly appreciate the historical support of Poland, which together with us has become a real shield of Europe from sea to sea. And there cannot be a single crack in this shield,” Zelenskyy wrote in English.
“We will not allow any political instants to spoil the relations between the Ukrainian and Polish peoples, and emotions should definitely cool down.”