Poland teases record arms deal
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Tuesday that the country will be exporting nearly $630 million worth of weapons to Ukraine. The military contract has been called the biggest Warsaw has signed in the past 30 years.
"We are glad to have the opportunity to sell our weapons abroad today," said Morawiecki during a visit to Poland’s Stalowa Wola arms factory on Tuesday, adding these will be “tried and tested” arms that will “not only pass the baptism of fire,” but will also be a “very important weapon on the battlefield, most likely in eastern Ukraine.”
The prime minister also stated that part of the financing for these weapons will be covered by the European Union, adding that Poland will use this money to enrich its production potential.
His deputy prime minister Jacek Sasin has confirmed the deal and has stated that the total sum of these deliveries will be somewhere around $628 million.
In late May, Poland also donated 18 ‘Krab’ self-propelled guns to Kiev forces, and Polish military forces provided training to about 100 Ukrainian artillerymen to operate them, according to Polish Radio, which noted that Ukrainian forces now have at least 24 Western self-propelled howitzers.
Warsaw claims to be one of the largest donors of military hardware to Ukraine, second only to the United States. Poland has so far provided Kiev with T-72 tanks, Gozdzik self-propelled howitzers, air-to-air missiles, drones and Grad rocket launchers.
Meanwhile, Moscow has warned that any western weapons stockpiles in Ukraine are “legitimate targets” and that it frequently conducts air and missile strikes against them.
Russia attacked its neighboring country following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.