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Poland Bills EU €2 Bln for Weapons Sent to Ukraine

© Photo : Ministry of Defense of PolandPolish military facility repairs armored vehicles. File photo.
Polish military facility repairs armored vehicles. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.03.2023
Warsaw has delivered over €2.3 billion in weapons and military equipment to Ukraine over the past year, putting it third overall in arms aid behind only the United States and Britain. Now, Poland is apparently looking to get most of that money back to support the country’s own rearmament.
Poland has billed the European Union for the vast majority of the military equipment and weapons it has transferred to Ukraine, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has confirmed.

"We have issued invoices for €2 billion euros, and this is very good news for Poland, for the Polish budget – very good news which I bring back to Poland from the European Council summit," Morawiecki said in an interview with a Polish broadcaster on Saturday.

“€2 billion is, if you round it up, nearly 10 billion Polish zlotys. With this money, we can buy state-of-the-art equipment,” the prime minister added.
Morawiecki also said that Warsaw is considering invoicing Brussels for the 14 Leopard 2 main battle tanks Poland has agreed to send to Kiev.
Poland announced plans to double the size of its Army in late 2021 from 150,000 to 300,000 troops, and has subsequently made plans to raise defense spending to 4 percent of GDP – the highest in percentage terms within the NATO alliance.
The Eastern European country has taken advantage of the crisis in Ukraine by sending vast quantities of old Soviet-era weapons to Kiev in exchange for cash from the EU’s Orwellian-named ‘Peace Fund’, but has so far received less than €200 million from Brussels, according to Morawiecki.
While billing the EU for arms sent east, Warsaw has also criticized some of its neighbors, particularly Germany, for being "not as generous" as they should be in supporting Kiev militarily. Berlin ought to be "sending more weapons, sending more ammunition, and giving more money to Ukraine, because they are the richest and the biggest country by far," Morawiecki said in a separate interview this week.
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki talks to the press at the end of a EU Summit, at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on March 24, 2023.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2023
Poland: Germany Not 'As Generous As It Should Be' In Sending Support to Ukraine
In Saturday’s conversation, Morawiecki admitted that it NATO's proxy war against Russia in Ukraine has hit a snag – political fatigue and a lack of resources.
“Today, there is much less willingness and appetite for further sanctions. I think there is fatigue,” the prime minister said. He added, however, that he is “cautiously optimistic that we will be able to convince our partners for further packages” of restrictions against both Russia and Belarus in the weeks to come.
On the weapons front too, Morawiecki said that while "efforts will be made to multiply" the production of armaments "as quickly as possible" by Polish defense factories, "it is an open secret here in Brussels that there is no ammunition in Europe."

Polish Support for Ukraine

Warsaw has been at the forefront of cheerleading NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, with the vast majority of the tens of billions of dollars in weapons and military equipment sent to Kiev through Polish territory. Polish authorities have also long been supporters of the expansion of the EU and NATO into Ukraine, and actively supported Ukraine’s opposition ahead of the 2014 Maidan coup d’état in Kiev.
While many Poles have expressed support for the government’s policies, a substantial and growing minority has criticized Warsaw’s support for Kiev, and expressed concerns over the cult of personality built around Stepan Bandera – the Nazi collaborator whose militias murdered hundreds of thousands Polish civilians, Jews, anti-fascist Ukrainians and Red Army troops in western Ukraine during the Second World War.
Some Poles have also expressed concerns about the prospect of the Ukrainian crisis escalating into a full-blown war with Russia, as well as the economic repercussions of the current conflict, with Polish GDP growth slipping to negative 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 amid soaring inflation (16.6 percent in December), rising energy prices and a dramatic drop in trade with Russia.
 The Honorary Company of the Polish Army walks in front of troops that will take part in major international Anakonda-14 defense exercise during the opening ceremony at the National Defense Academy in Warsaw-Rembertow district, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.02.2023
Biden's Warsaw Trip: Poles Tired of US Bellicosity, Don't See Russia as Threat, Polish Observer Says
While Poland has welcomed millions of Ukrainian refugees in 2022, and about 1.3 million have remained in the country, support on that front is also falling, with a poll last month finding that about a third of the population is no longer eager to accept refugees –down from 88 percent in February of 2022. More than 60 percent of Poles feel that refugees enjoy more assistance and benefits from the state than Polish citizens.
Recent polling also found that while 48 percent believe Poland should provide further military assistance to Ukraine, one third of the population is opposed to any further aid. Poles are also divided about the kind of aid refugees Ukrainians should get, with 62 percent saying they deserve free health care, 87 percent admission to Polish schools, but only 36 percent housing assistance.
The crisis in Ukraine affected Poland directly and almost sparked World War III in November 2022, when an errant Ukrainian air defense missile landed in a village in eastern Poland, killing two farmers. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately accused Russia and urged NATO to take action to put Russia "in its place." Later, after Polish, US and NATO officials concluded that the missile was Ukrainian, Zelensky refused to do admit Kiev's responsibility, with NATO diplomats accusing him of "openly lying" about the incident.
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