Warsaw and Kyiv summoned each other’s ambassadors to their foreign ministries on Tuesday in a diplomatic spat between the two countries which had hitherto been staunch allies in Ukraine’s war with Russia.
Poland’s ambassador to Ukraine, Bartosz Cichocki, was the first to be called in to the local foreign ministry over comments a Polish presidential aide had made insinuating that Kyiv showed insufficient gratitude for the support it had received from Poland since the start of the war.
Marcin Przydacz, the head of the president’s International Policy Bureau, said that “Ukraine has received really huge support from Poland” and that it “should start appreciating it.”
Przydacz was responding to criticism from Ukraine regarding Poland’s declaration that it would prolong a ban on food imports from Ukraine, adding that Warsaw’s priority should be to support Polish farmers hit by the imports.
Cichocki went to the Ukrainian foreign ministry to discuss the issue on Tuesday.
“During the meeting, it was emphasised that (Przydacz’s) comments about the alleged ingratitude of Ukrainians for the help (provided to us by) Poland are untrue and unacceptable,” a press release of the Ukrainian foreign ministry explained.
“We are convinced that the Ukrainian-Polish friendship is much deeper than (immediate) political goals,” the release continued. “Politics should not question the mutual understanding and strength of relations between our nations.
“No statements will prevent us from working together for peace and building a common European future,” the Ukrainian ministry added.
Later in the day, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) called in Vasyl Zvarych, Ukraine’s ambassador to Poland.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces that in connection with statements of representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland has been invited to the MFA headquarters,” the ministry tweeted without specifying which remarks it was referring to.
Commenting later on the dispute, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister tweeted: “The summoning of the Polish ambassador – a national representative who was the only one to stay in Kyiv on the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – to the Ukrainian
MFA should never have taken place.”
Morawiecki went on to write that “in international politics, in the face of an ongoing war, bearing in mind the huge support Poland has given Ukraine, such mistakes should not occur.”
He added that the interests of no other country would ever take precedence over Poland’s “good name” and its security.