Poland to receive EUR 300 mln from EU for weapons purchases by Easter: PM
The Polish prime minister has said that his country will receive up to EUR 300 million from the European Union for weapons purchases by Easter, followed by a further EUR 500-600 million in the next few months, as compensation for arms sent to war-torn Ukraine.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki meets reporters during a European Union Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Friday, March 24, 2023. PAP/Andrzej Lange
Mateusz Morawiecki added this would make Poland “the biggest beneficiary” of the EU’s European Peace Facility, defined as “an off-budget funding mechanism for EU actions with military and defence implications.”
He made the announcement at the close of a two-day EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Friday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
‘Compensation for weapons sent to Ukraine’
Morawiecki told a media briefing that “as compensation for weapons sent to Ukraine,” Poland would receive “up to EUR 300 million by Easter, followed by an additional EUR 500-600 million in the next few months,” according to the state PAP news agency.
He added: “To replace older weapons shipped to Ukraine, Poland will be able to use EU funds to buy very advanced arms and ammunition, as well as set up new technological lines for the domestic production of ammunition and various types of weapons,” PAP reported.
The Polish prime minister stressed: “Poland will be the biggest beneficiary of the European Peace Facility. It is a huge success for Poland. We have strived for it from the beginning. The role of Poland in Ukraine’s defensive war against Russian barbarism has finally been appreciated.”
Morawiecki vowed he would continue to press for a EUR 3.5 billion funding boost for the European Peace Facility.
He said EU leaders would likely approve such a move “in the coming months,” and “most of this additional funding will also be channelled to Poland.”
Meanwhile, continued support for Ukraine was a key topic of the summit, with EU leaders committing to “providing 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition in a joint effort within the next 12 months,” according to officials.
Poland to work with EU executive to rescue kidnapped Ukrainian children
The prime minister reiterated his pledge that “together with the European Commission and Ukraine,” Poland would „strive to ensure that as many kidnapped Ukrainian children as possible return to their homes.”
He stated: “These practices of the Russian invader are reminiscent of the cruel Nazi German practices of World War II.”
In February, the EC announced a joint initiative with Poland, designed to track down Ukrainian children who have been illegally deported to Russia, and bring those responsible to trial.
The EU executive chief announced: “In this field, in partnership with the Ukrainians, Prime Minister Morawiecki and I have launched an initiative aiming at bringing back these children that have been abducted by Russia.”
Last week, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of being responsible for war crimes committed in Ukraine.
The Hague-based court said Putin was allegedly responsible for unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.
Separately, the court issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, on the same charges, news outlets reported.
‘Poland’s banking system is safe’
The Polish PM also told reporters: “The second day of the summit was devoted to the situation in the financial and banking markets.”
He added: “We are concerned about the bankruptcy of Credit Suisse and the decline in the shares of one of the largest European banks.”
At the same time, Morawiecki stressed that Poland’s banking system “is very safe.”
He added: “We are not a member of the eurozone, we are managing our own currency and we are reaping the benefits.”
EU cohesion funds, assistance from Japan
Responding to media speculation, Poland’s Morawiecki also gave assurances that his country “has no problems with compliance with the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights” and therefore “there are no problems with payments for Poland from the bloc’s Cohesion Fund,” the PAP news agency reported.
The Polish PM also confirmed that Poland would receive financial assistance from Japan to help with the costs of supporting Ukraine.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in Warsaw on Wednesday that due to the growing burden on Poland related to Russia’s continuing aggression against Ukraine, his country had decided to grant Poland “special treatment,” making it eligible for development aid, even though Poland is now a developed country, news outlets reported.
Poland’s Morawiecki said on Friday that he was “very pleased” with Kishida’s offer.
He added that the financial assistance from Japan would total “at least USD 100 million,” according to the PAP news agency.
Source: IAR, PAP, consilium.europa.eu