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Poland expresses displeasure over Zelensky’s comments at UN

Poland took a harsh stance on Wednesday after the Ukrainian president said that Poland was playing by Russia’s rules by imposing restrictions on imports of Ukrainian grain through its territory.

Jacek Sasin, Minister of State Assets, said on X:

“No one in the world has provided more generous help to Ukrainians than Poles. President Zelensky (Volodymyr Zelenskyy) should remember this. But the government in Warsaw is primarily concerned with taking care of Polish citizens, including farmers. It was not like that under (former Polish Prime Minister Donald) Tusk, but it is now and will be like that”.

After the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal in July, Kyiv and its partners are looking for land routes to world markets from Ukraine.

To protect their domestic market and farmers from cheap Ukrainian produce, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have imposed restrictions on the sale of Ukrainian food products within their borders, extending a Europe-wide measure that Brussels had promised to lift after it expired last week.

Ukrainian leaders have expressed displeasure with the ban, and Zelensky told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that “it is disturbing to see how some in Europe are … are helping set the stage to a Moscow actor.”

Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller told radio broadcaster RMF FM:

“I hope these words are not addressed to Poland. The name of our country was not mentioned there, so I would not like to perceive them that way. We are helping Ukraine militarily to defend itself — but also us — against Russia. However, in economic and agricultural matters, we must defend Polish interests.”

Beata Szydlo, currently a member of the European Parliament who previously served as Poland’s prime minister from 2015-2017, said Zielensky’s remarks were “insinuations unworthy of such a serious politician”.

Marcin Przydacz, head of the Polish presidential bureau for international policy, said that Ukraine’s moves were “certainly unfair to Poland, and for many people this is surprising”.

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