– Damian Cygan: After that, how Poland extended the embargo on Ukrainian grain, Kiev sued Warsaw to the World Trade Organization (WTO), announced an embargo on Polish vegetables and fruit, and President Zelensky attacked Poland at the UN, implying de facto, that we favor Russia. Haven't things gone too far??
Paweł Musiałek: We indeed find ourselves in a very difficult situation. The temperature of the dispute is rising at an extremely dynamic pace. This is not the case yet, so that you can say, that Poland's relations with Ukraine are very bad, because sympathy capital, especially when it comes to the societies of both countries, created strong foundations for our relations and this will remain with us for many years. However, looking at it, what is here and now, the atmosphere is not good.
The grain issue is not the only bone of contention between Ukraine and Poland.
The agricultural thread is certainly the most problematic, because it is in this sector that the interests of Poland and Ukraine intersect the most. Ukraine is interested not only in transit through Poland, but also on access to the EU market, because Ukraine has a problem with the export of agricultural goods, which are actually her main source of income.
The Polish government believes, that it is in our interest not to allow this import, although in my opinion the issue is much more problematic if it were not for the electoral context, then perhaps we would be slightly more open. But I don't want to say, that this crisis was Poland's fault, because I think, that the Ukrainian side is definitely more to blame.
Earlier, we had a dispute over Volhynia and an incident in Przewodów, where the Ukrainian rocket fell.
The Polish side tried to hush up the Wire case, even though she didn't have to, because a very unpleasant situation occurred. And the Ukrainian side behaved badly, she pleaded not guilty, it did not take responsibility and did not compensate the families of the deceased people for this, what happened.
There were other smaller incidents earlier, which Poland seemed to downplay, and I understood it to some extent, especially when we talk about the beginnings of the war. Because if someone is drowning, so we pull him out of the water without asking, Are you sure you have an insurance policy?.
But as the war went on, when the prospect of saving the Ukrainian state began to grow, and politics and internal games returned to Ukraine, Poland could have started pursuing a slightly more assertive policy earlier, that is, not only to signal their expectations towards Kiev, but also introduce a certain transactional policy. Today it seems, that it is indispensable.
Do you see any good solution to this situation?? Maybe it's enough to survive until the elections in Poland?
The election campaign certainly doesn't help with this, to cool down these relationships. Social climate related to war fatigue, and, in addition, the difficult economic situation in Poland causes, that politicians of the ruling party do not have a strong incentive to do so, to end this crisis, on the contrary.
However, in my opinion this is not the case, that after the election campaign we will return to these relations, that we had with Ukraine. I guess, that so much bad had happened, that the atmosphere of brotherhood no longer exists. Between societies, yes, but hard politics crept in among the political elites, which will accompany us for a long time.
Why is Ukraine doing this to itself?? Taking into account the aid provided by Poland since the beginning of the war, the actions of the government in Kiev are irrational.
I think so too. I think, that until now Ukraine could count on Poland to such a large extent, that she treated our support as free and did not require any special treatments. In addition, there is the agricultural business, who in Ukraine is linked to the government, and this causes, that the government in Kiev cares not only about the common good, but also about the particular interests of individual oligarchs who are in a certain political arrangement with the authorities. And although the war limited the influence of the oligarchs, however, it did not eliminate them completely. In the agricultural sector, this has a really significant impact on politics.