Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told Volodymyr Zelenskiy to “never insult Poles again” after the Ukrainian president suggested that Poland was causing drama in the dispute between the two countries over grain exports. he said.
The Polish Prime Minister’s comments come after several EU countries suspended a ban on Ukrainian grain earlier this year, but Poland worked with Hungary and Slovakia to keep the ban in place. It came after the president criticized his neighbor.
The ban was originally enacted to protect local farmers who feared they would be hurt by low grain prices in Ukraine. Ukraine has since filed suit against the three countries over the continued ban.
Meanwhile, President Zelenskiy issued thinly veiled criticism of Poland, which has provided significant support to Ukraine’s war effort, including hosting more than 1 million refugees from the conflict. He called the grain conflict “political theater” and said, “Some of our European friends have made thrillers out of grain.”
Morawiecki responded to Zelenskiy’s comments Friday at a rally in the southeastern Polish city of Świdnik, about 80 miles from the Ukrainian border.
“I would like to tell President Zelenskiy not to insult Poles again, as he did in his recent speech at the United Nations,” he said.
“The Polish people will never allow something like this to happen. Defending Poland’s honor is not only my duty and honor, but also the most important task of the Polish government,” the prime minister added.
The ongoing conflict is a departure from previously friendly relations between Ukraine, Poland and other former Eastern Bloc countries, and could become a target for Putin if a war of territorial expansion succeeds.