Poland pledges more jets to Ukraine on Zelensky visit

[Press center5] time:2023-05-30 18:56:57 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center7 click:48order

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited Poland, as his hosts promised to send more fighter jets to Ukraine.

President Andrzej Duda said he would send Poland's remaining fleet of MiG-29 jets "if there is still such a need".

Mr Zelensky thanked the country for its support against Russia's invasion.

It came as Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Western intelligence services of being involved in terror attacks on Russia.

Speaking at the Kremlin's security council, Mr Putin did not give any evidence but said: "There is every reason to say that the resources of third countries, Western intelligence services, are engaged in the preparation of such sabotage and acts of terrorism."

Mr Zelensky arrived in Warsaw on Wednesday morning - marking his first official visit to Poland since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.

Poland has been a key ally in supporting Ukraine and is usually at the forefront in pushing for arms supplies to its neighbour.

It was the first country to pledge Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, and on Wednesday committed more Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets.

Mr Duda reiterated the country firmly supported Kyiv's bid to join Nato and said he was trying to get "additional guarantees, security guarantees, which will strengthen Ukraine's military potential".

Earlier, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that for Ukraine to join Nato, the country would have to be independent and democratic - two criteria currently unable to be fulfilled as a result of Russia's invasion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously used Ukraine's desire to join Nato as a justification for the invasion.

Mr Zelensky's visit came as Poland's agriculture minister, Henry Kowalczyk, resigned amid rising anger among local farmers over the impact of cheap Ukrainian grain imports on prices.

Poland has been gripped by a wave of protests over the fact that Ukrainian grain is reducing the market price of Polish grain. Farmers in Poland have argued the EU should provide assistance to minimise the impact of Ukrainian grain on the market.

Mr Kowalczyk said his decision to resign was prompted by a recent EU proposal to extend the tax breaks on imports of the Ukrainian grain.

He said the EU's actions "shows very clearly" that the demands of Poland's farmers "will not be met by the Commission".

Mr Zelensky addressed the grain issue during his visit, telling reporters that he expected decisions soon that would alleviate the farmers' anger.

"We have found a way out," he said. "I believe that in the coming days and weeks we will finally resolve all issues as there cannot be any questions, any complications between such close partners and real friends as Poland and Ukraine."

While the two leaders met in Warsaw, Mr Putin took aim at Western security services, accusing them of having helped Kyiv stage "terror attacks".

He also accused Ukraine of committing crimes against Russian officials and journalists with the help of Western resources in a televised meeting with officials.

Mr Putin's comments come just three days after the death of pro-military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, who was killed in St Petersburg. Russia has charged the suspect in the attack with terrorism.

(editor-in-charge:Press center 1)

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