Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told Volodymyr Zelensky to never “insult Poles again” after the Ukrainian president suggested Poland was stirring up drama over a dispute between the two countries over grain exports.
The Polish Prime Minister’s comments come after Zelensky criticized his neighbor during the United Nations General Assembly this week, after several EU countries suspended bans imposed on Ukrainian grain earlier this year, while Poland joined Hungary and Slovakia in maintaining the bans.
The bans were originally instituted to protect local farmers who feared they would be hurt by low Ukrainian grain prices. Ukraine has since filed lawsuits against the three countries over the continued bans.
Meanwhile, Zelensky offered thinly veiled criticism of Poland, which has greatly supported Ukraine’s war effort, including hosting more than a million refugees from the conflict. He called the grain dispute “political theater” and said that “some of our friends in Europe” have “made a thriller out of grain.”
Morawiecki responded to Zelensky’s comments on Friday at a rally in Swidnik, a city in southeastern Poland about 50 miles from the Ukrainian border.
“I want to tell President Zelensky never to insult Poles again, as he did recently during his speech at the UN,” he said.
The Polish Prime Minister’s comments come after Zelensky claimed that “some of our friends in Europe” have “made a thriller out of grain.” AFP via Getty Images
“The Polish people will never allow this to happen and defending the good name of Poland is not only my duty and my honor, but also the most important task of the Polish government,” the prime minister added.
The current fighting marks a change in the previously friendly relationship between Ukraine, Poland and other former Eastern bloc nations, which could be Putin’s target if his war to expand territory is successful.