Poland Offers Ukraine Ammunition Ahead Of PM’s Visit

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Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki talks to the press on the sidelines of the “Defend Europe” summit, organised by the Spanish far-right party VOX, in Madrid on January 29, 2022. OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

 

Poland on Monday said it had offered Ukraine tens of thousands of ammunition rounds ahead of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s visit to Kyiv as fears of a Russian invasion grow.

The EU member has also announced it is readying itself for a potential wave of up to a million refugees from Ukraine if negotiations fail and war breaks out.

“The decision has been taken to send defensive ammunition to Ukraine,” said Pawel Soloch, head of the national security bureau.

He told reporters the offer consisted of “tens of thousands of ammunition rounds, at present” and that Poland was now awaiting a response from Ukraine.

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Morawiecki is due to visit Ukraine on Tuesday.

Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wasik last week spoke of the humanitarian aid Poland was prepared to offer its neighbour to the east.

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“If the situation in Ukraine were to end in war, then we must be prepared for an influx of real refugees,” Wasik told TV Republika.

“The interior ministry has for some time now been taking steps to prepare us for a wave of even a million people,” he added.

He said Poland, with a population of 38 million, would have to ready border crossings and medical services for any such influx, as well as prepare accommodation and meals for the refugees.

The country already has a sizeable Ukrainian community, including a longstanding minority of 50,000 with Polish citizenship.

Another 300,000 Ukrainians have Polish residence permits, yet the actual number living there is estimated to be much higher.

Relations between Russia and the West are at their lowest point since the Cold War after Moscow deployed tens of thousands of troops on the border of Ukraine.

The military build-up has prompted fears it is planning an invasion, spooking NATO and its members in the region and prompting the Western alliance to explore bolstering its own deployments there.

AFP