Both, Poland and Ukraine summoned their ambassadors on Tuesday in the midst of a row that erupted after Marcin Przydac, a foreign policy adviser to the Polish president, said Kiev should show more appreciation for Warsaw’s support in its war with Russia.
Przydac said the Polish government should defend the interests of the country’s farmers, referring to a ban on imports of Ukrainian commodities that expires next month.
Kiev and Warsaw have been close allies throughout the conflict, sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said the Polish ambassador was told at the meeting that statements about Ukraine’s alleged lack of gratitude for Poland’s help were incorrect and unacceptable.
“We’re convinced that Ukrainian-Polish friendship is much deeper than political expediency… Politics shouldn’t raise doubts about the mutual understanding and strength of relations between our peoples,” the Ukrainian statement said.
In turn, Poland summoned the Ukrainian ambassador in Warsaw in response to the comments of representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, as stated in a tweet by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On Monday, Polish media quoted the foreign policy adviser to the Polish president, Marcin Przydac, as saying regarding the possible extension of Poland’s ban on importing Ukrainian agricultural products.
“The most important thing today is to defend the interest of the Polish farmer,” Przydac was quoted as saying.
He also said, “I think it will be important for Kiev to start appreciating the role that Poland has played for Ukraine over the past months and years”.
The European Union in May allowed Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, corn, and rapeseed and sunflower seeds.
After the Russian invasion closed the Black Sea ports, large quantities of Ukrainian grain, which is cheaper than that produced in the European Union, ended up staying in central European countries due to logistical bottlenecks, hurting prices and sales for local farmers.
The five countries want to extend the ban on grain imports at least until the end of the year.
The ban is set to expire on September 15.
The Polish prime minister said earlier this month that he wouldn’t lift the ban on September 15 even if the European Union didn’t agree to extend it.
Kiev called the Polish decision “unfriendly” and urged Ukraine’s partners and the European Commission to ensure unhindered export of all Ukrainian agricultural products to the EU.
The Polish Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
On second crisis, Poland accused Belarus of invading airspace with helicopters and responded by increasing the number of soldiers on the border.
Two Belarusian helicopters flying near the border violated Polish airspace, the Polish News Agency reported on Tuesday, citing the Defense Ministry.
The helicopters crossed the border in the Bialowieza region, about 250 km east of Warsaw, on Tuesday.
The Polish defense ministry said the two helicopters flew too low, making it difficult for radar systems to detect them.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak ordered an increase in troops and additional resources, including combat helicopters, at the border, without referring to numbers.
Poland had informed NATO of the incident.
The influx of fighters from Russia’s private Wagner Group into Belarus has caused unease in Poland and other NATO countries.
On respond to that, the Polish army had already ordered additional forces to be deployed from the west of the country to the east.