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Poland fumes over Zelensky aide’s ‘friendship won’t last’ remarks

Mikhail Podoliak earlier suggested that Kiev and Warsaw would compete with each other after the Ukraine conflict is over

Public figures in Poland have voiced frustration over comments made by a Ukrainian presidential aide, who predicted that the friendship between the two nations would only last until the end of the current conflict.

On Friday, President Vladimir Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podoliak said that once the fighting with Russia subsides, Ukraine and Poland will end up “competing” with each other in various markets.

In response, Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski tweeted on Sunday: “Thank you for being honest!”


Janusz Korwin-Mikke, a far-right lawmaker, claimed that Poland has “objectively conflicting interests with Ukraine.”

“I repeat tirelessly: there will be a war with Ukraine – and it would be good if Russia did not support it,” he wrote, noting in a separate post that the conflict “will start with a trade war.”

Kazimierz Smolinski, a member of the ruling Law and Justice Party, said that while Warsaw has decided to help Kiev, mainly to protect security in the region, ordinary Poles have “opened their hearts” to Ukrainians fleeing their homeland.

“And now a Ukrainian activist goes on camera and has the audacity to say such things. The ingratitude of the Ukrainian elite is reaching new levels. These and other hostile statements and actions cannot be left without consequences”.


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FILE PHOTO. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Zelensky adviser casts doubt on future relations with Poland

Jacek Leski, a journalist for the TVP network, described Podoliak’s remarks as “fatal,” suggesting that “with maximum good will” Warsaw and Kiev could enjoy a blend of cooperation and competition after the conflict ends.

“However, juxtaposing ‘friendship’ with ‘competition’ and tying it to war sounds awful… Now we are friends because we are in need, and when the war is over, we will show what we can do,” he wrote.

Leski noted that the dire state of Ukraine’s economy means it will need Polish assistance for years to come, “and he says these things. This is terribly stupid. The Ukrainians I know hold their heads.”


While Poland has emerged as a key supporter of Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, relations have been marred by a number of issues, including agricultural exports. Last month, Warsaw, along with four other EU members, agreed to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain imports to protect their agricultural sectors.

August 07, 2023 at 06:01PM

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