Polish support for Ukraine shifts as war enters third year: A Realist turn in Perspective

February marks the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On this anniversary, the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, visited Kyiv, standing beside the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and delivering the first shipment of Leopard tanks. However, despite this show of solidarity, tensions have arisen between the two countries due to economic interests.

Relations have become strained as Ukrainian farmers have protested at the Poland-Ukraine border due to the influx of cheap agricultural products from Ukraine. This has led to accusations from Ukrainian news outlets that Poland is hindering Ukraine’s European future.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Poland and Ukraine became closer, with Poland welcoming over a million Ukrainian refugees and providing military equipment. However, disputes began to arise when a Ukrainian missile fell on Poland, causing a strain in the relationship.

Despite initially being strong allies, the two nations’ divergent economic interests and conflicts over trade have caused friction. With the upcoming Polish parliamentary elections, the opposition’s victory did not bring any substantial change in their stance towards Ukraine.

Despite these challenges, some remain optimistic about the two countries’ future relationship. Though conflicts of interest may arise, there is hope that a common threat will continue to unify Central Europe.

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