Polish pm says Ukraine grain dispute escalates

Polish pm says Ukraine grain dispute escalates

oland said it has stopped supplying weapons to Ukraine, further escalating a dispute over grain shipments that's threatening to break a key alliance in Kyiv's fight against Russia.

In an interview with Polsat television, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in response to a reporter's question on whether Warsaw would continue to support Kyiv despite the grain-exports dispute.

He said his government has no intent to risk the security of Ukraine and won't interfere with arms shipments from other countries through the military hub that's grown up in the town of Rzeszow. On the other hand, he said, Poland is also benefiting financially from the transit.

The dispute cast a sudden question on the union that had defined the neighbours' relationship before the grain dispute, a friendship that appeared to epitomize European solidarity with Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

There was no immediate reaction from Kyiv to Morawiecki's comments.

Morawiecki's announcement came just hours after Poland summoned Ukraine's ambassador and threatened to expand a grain ban to other imports from its neighbor.

The government of Warsaw responded to remarks by Volodymyr Zelensky at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday in which the Ukrainian leader accused some European Union nations of feigning solidarity with his war-torn nation and appeasing Russia.

The ruling Law & Justice party is seeingthing over recent criticism from Kyiv about its decision to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain imports - seen as a pre-election appeal to rural Polish voters.

After an initial exchange of barbs between Zelensky and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, Morawiecki on Tuesday threatened to add more products to the grain ban if Kyiv escalates into a war.

The back-and-forth signaled that what appears to be a relatively minor disagreement has ballooned into something larger. A further worsening could have direct implications for the war, as Poland is the primary destination for refugees and the gateway to about 90% of all Western aid and military equipment headed for Kyiv.

The timing is also a blow to Ukraine, as Zelensky pressed his case in New York for more worldwide support and Ukrainian forces advance in a grinding counteroffensive to retake occupied territory.

The ruling Law & Justice Party, seeking a third term in its contest next month, is reluctant to alienate its rural base, while growing discontent with the cost of supporting Ukraine has boosted the party's opponents on the far right.