WARSAW – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife arrived in Poland on Wednesday for a state visit intended as a gesture of thanks to the neighboring country for its crucial support in defending Ukraine against Russian invasion.
The visit is a rare outing for Ukraine’s Zelenskyy since Russia unleashed war in February 2022. While following visits to the United States, Britain, France and Belgium, it stands out from the rest because it was announced without secrecy in advance of past visits.
It is also unusual that the President is accompanied by the First Lady, Olena Zelenska. Marcin Przydacz, head of Polish President Andrzej Duda’s foreign policy office, described it as Zelenskyy’s first visit of this kind since the beginning of the war.
He said Zelenskyy had already crossed the Polish border before a morning meeting with Duda. Zelenskyy will also meet Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in the afternoon and he will meet some of the Ukrainians who have found refuge in Poland.
Warsaw has been a key ally of Ukraine since last year’s full-scale Russian invasion, has taken in large numbers of refugees and has become a hub for humanitarian aid and arms transit to Ukraine.
But Zelenskyy’s visit also comes at a sensitive time, as Polish farmers are growing furious that Ukrainian grain entering Poland has caused a flood that is sending prices plummeting.
The grain is only supposed to be stored and transported through Poland to reach international markets, but farmers in Poland say the grain instead stays in Poland, taking up space in silos and going to local markets, causing local prices for the grain to drop farmers leads. Romanian and Bulgarian farmers say they face the same problem.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.
https://www.local10.com/news/world/2023/04/05/zelenskyy-visits-poland-to-thank-ally-and-meet-ukrainians/ Zelenskyy visits Poland to thank allies and meet Ukrainians