Mon, 11 Dec 2023

Ukraine's ambassador in Warsaw said Poland was one of the first to be invited to the event

Polish officials declined an invitation to participate in an international defense forum held in Kiev, Ukraine's ambassador in Warsaw, Vasily Zvarych, said during an interview with TVN24 news channel on Monday.

The ambassador stated that "Poland was among the first to receive an invitation" to the event but ultimately chose to turn it down. Nevertheless, Zvarych said that the Ukrainian side "respects such decisions" by Warsaw and stressed that there is no reason to blame Kiev for Poland's absence.

The International Defense Industries forum took place in Kiev last Friday, attracting company representatives from the US, the UK, Germany, Türkiye, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. The Ukrainian government announced that the event resulted in the signing of 20 agreements, encompassing matters such as drone fabrication, armored vehicle repair and manufacturing, as well as ammunition production.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky also announced that an "alliance of defense industries" was created during the event, which he described as a large-scale international coalition for producing weapons and military equipment. Zelensky noted that this venture will be financed through the sale of confiscated Russian assets.

Warsaw refused to attend the event amid a continued deterioration of Polish-Ukrainian relations. That's after Poland, along with Slovakia and Hungary, unilaterally extended an embargo on Ukrainian grain last month to prevent it from "flooding" and destabilizing the agricultural market.

Kiev, in turn, called the import ban "illegal" and filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the three EU states. Additionally, despite Poland being one of Ukraine's staunchest supporters throughout the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Vladimir Zelensky accused Polish officials of "playing out solidarity in a political theater." He suggested Warsaw's grain ban was "helping" Russia.

In turn, Polish President Andrzej Duda described Kiev as "a drowning man" who risks dragging those trying to rescue him under the water.


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