As the UN General Assembly in New York is in full swing, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who attended in person for the first time since the Russian-Ukrainian war, has certainly become the most watched political star. Both his speech to the General Assembly on the 19th and his statement to the Security Council on the 20th have become the focus of discussion in the international political public opinion circles.

In the context of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and other countries unilaterally banning Ukrainian grain imports in recent days in spite of the EU single market system, Zelensky also used the diplomatic stage of the United Nations to fire at these countries, and the Polish authorities, who will face a difficult election campaign on the 15th of next month, are not to be outdone, and its ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was interviewed by Polish media on the 20th, claiming that Poland has stopped exporting weapons to Ukraine.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on the 19th, Zelensky criticized Poland and other countries without naming them, claiming that "it is shocking to see how some of our European friends show unity in the political arena - they make grain a thriller routine." They may seem like they're just playing their roles, but in fact they're helping a Moscow actor set the stage."

What is the origin of the grain ban controversy?

The background of this round of diplomatic conflict between Ukraine and Ukraine is actually very simple. After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Ukraine's Black Sea grain exports were blocked, so the EU decided to open its market to Ukraine to show solidarity, originally hoping that Ukrainian grain could be exported through Europe. However, Europe's own logistics infrastructure was never prepared for the re-export of Ukrainian grain, and some businessmen saw that Ukrainian grain was cheap and good for profit, so the grain flowed into the markets of neighboring countries, which affected the price of their locally produced grain and caused dissatisfaction among farmers.

On September 9, Zelensky spoke at the UN Security Conference. (Reuters)

At the beginning of this year, neighboring countries, including Poland, have successively protested against the flow of Ukrainian grain into the market farmers' demonstrations, Poland's Minister of Agriculture even resigned, countries at that time unilaterally banned Ukrainian grain imports, and the European Commission in order to maintain the integrity of the single market and the interests of countries, decided to temporarily control Ukrainian grain imports by the EU to ensure that they will not flow into the domestic markets of neighboring countries.

However, this regulation expired on September 9, and the EU had no intention of renewing it, so the three countries again violated single market regulations to prevent Ukrainian grain imports, and after the Black Sea grain agreement was scrapped in July, the Black Sea coastal grain shipping route without Russia's cooperation was still in the experimental stage, and Ukraine became more dependent on European grain shipping routes, so it sued the World Trade Organization (WTO), further intensifying diplomatic conflicts with Poland and other countries. Poland summoned Ukraine's ambassador to Poland, and Kiev called on Poland to "not be emotional" — this is not the first political turmoil, and in August, the two countries summoned ambassadors to each other for whether Ukraine expressed enough gratitude to Poland.

In addition to the Polish Prime Minister's remarks on stopping the delivery of weapons, the Polish President (Andrzej Duda), who is attending the United Nations General Assembly, also told reporters in New York on the 19th that criticizing Ukraine is like a person who is immersed to death, thinking of grabbing everything, "very dangerous", and may pull the rescuer into the water. A Polish deputy agriculture minister also told the media that Ukraine is undermining their own interests, calling on Ukraine to consider the situation in terms of the overall situation and not focus on agriculture.

Polish President Duda (right) speaks at the United Nations Security Council next to Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations on September 9. A few days ago, he said that the defeat of Russia in Ukraine is a guarantee of peace. (Reuters)

At the same time, in response to Ukraine's indication that it may impose import restrictions on Polish products, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki also threatened to extend the import ban to other products if Ukraine continues to escalate the conflict. "We are protecting Polish farmers."

The Polish election is the real theme

Although the various provocative remarks of the diplomatic conflict between Poland and Ukraine were quickly widely reported by the international media, in fact, we do not have to pay too much attention to this turmoil. On the one hand, Ukraine's increasing export of grain from the Black Sea route through Romania using the Danube crossing is the most important alternative to the Black Sea grain agreement, which has not been affected by the import ban of Poland and other three countries. On the other hand, Poland's cessation of arms delivery has had little impact on the Ukrainian battlefield - at present, Ukraine's counteroffensive has not even been used on a large scale due to tactical considerations even Western tanks and other land propulsion equipment; After the F-16 is delivered to Ukraine in the future, Poland's Soviet-style fighters are no longer of much value to Ukraine.

More importantly, this diplomatic conflict between Poland and Ukraine is actually just an election propaganda campaign by the Law and Justice Party to win the October 10 election. According to current polls, the AKR has support of only about 15 percent, about 38 percent ahead of the opposition Civic Alliance (KO), led by former European Council President Donald Tusk, but cannot govern alone. On the right side of the Law and Justice Party, the Alliance for Freedom and Independence (Konf) has risen in recent years, whose support from nearly 29 percent two months ago has fallen slightly back to around 15 percent — a coalition that threatens to become a kingmaker.

Former Prime Minister Tusk, who represented Poland's politically liberal wings, attended the League Congress of the Civic Union. (Reuters)

In terms of conservative cultural positions such as anti-abortion, the Alliance for Freedom and Independence and the Law and Justice Party are in the same direction, but in different intensities, but the former fills the gap in the liberal economic proposition of Polish politics, while the latter focuses on large-scale welfare, and the two are difficult to cooperate. Therefore, the Justice Party is considering that it will win the right-wing vote through a tougher "Poland First" proposition, seize the votes of the Free and Independent Alliance among voters who oppose the acceptance of Ukrainian refugees, and emphasize that it puts Polish interests first in everything and will not compromise Polish interests by aiding Ukraine.

In fact, on the policy direction of military aid to Ukraine, Poland's major political parties have a consensus on it. In order to combat Tusk's citizens' alliance, the Law and Justice Party recently released parts of its classified defense plan during his time as prime minister in 2011, using it as evidence of Tusk's ineffectiveness in resisting Russia, accusing Tusk in election propaganda that Tusk was ready to hand over half of the country to Russia (according to reports, if the Russian army invaded Poland, it would be able to capture eastern Poland in a week). From such propaganda, it can be seen that aid to Ukraine and resistance to Russia is still a necessary selling point for any Polish political party.

Even in the case of the Alliance for Freedom and Independence, although there are pro-Russian voices within the alliance, the overall position of the alliance is that military assistance to Ukraine is "undoubtedly necessary".

It can be seen that the Law and Justice government's attack on Ukraine, and even said cruel words such as stopping military aid to Ukraine, are not aimed at Ukraine, but also at domestic voters. After the October 10 election, regardless of the election results, as long as Ukraine remains on the front line against Russia, Poland, with deep-rooted anti-Russian sentiment, will not change its position as the vanguard of aid to Ukraine. (By contrast, Poland's political priority will have a greater impact on Ukraine's entry into the EU, which could change the EU's internal economic structure.) )

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