Poland's agricultural sector has a huge number of small family farms. These farms are extremely senisitive to price fluctuations and there is great fear that they will go under and be bought by huge food conglomerates. Polish farmers are very politically active and can have great influence in any coalition government (a year ago PiS tried to appease some special interest in a way that pissed off the farmers and they had to backtrack on it or lose their coalition).Comments by Polish PM follow Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s accusation that some in Europe are in effect aiding Russiawww.theguardian.com
Poland's PM has announced that they will stop sending arms to Ukraine. Poland was previously one of Ukraine's biggest suppliers during the war.
There's two aspects to this. Firstly, the grain deal. Due to Russia blockading the export of Ukrainian grain through the black sea ports, Ukraine has had to send grain westward through its European neighbours. However 5 European countries (Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia) blamed this for a collapse in the price of local grain, and so the EU brokered an agreement to prevent the sale of Ukrainian grain in those 5 countries (while still allowing the grain to travel through those countries on its way elsewhere for export). That deal ended recently after the local price returned to normal, but Poland continued to pursue protectionism anyway. Zelensky accused them of playing into Russia's hands, and Poland's PM has in retaliation ended the transfer of arms.
Then there's the upcoming parliamentary election in Poland next month. The ruling right-wing party PiS is likely to emerge with a reduced plurality. Its position rests on social conservatism and whipping up anger towards minority groups, migrants and the EU-- so there is likely to be an element of shortsighted grandstanding in its approach. On the other hand, Poland also knows it has a lot to lose from a Ukrainian defeat in the long term-- Russia unilaterally cut off Poland's oil access in February, and has threatened Poland militarily in the recent past.
There are also regulations on what quality grain has to be to be sold for human consumption. There are allegations that dirt cheap feed-quality grain was being sold for human consumption. Polish small farmers cannot compete with that and the government went on an enforcement binge. It probably would have blown over quietly but Ukraine complained and then Germany voted against Poland.
Right now, the narrative in Poland seems to be that Zelensky is desperate for more aid but Poland has given all it can so he has to suck up to Germany to get what he needs. Plus, the Ukrainian oligarchs are making a fortune profiteering off the grain dumping, so they pressured Zelensky to go against Poland. Overall, Ukraine lost a lot of goodwill in Poland with that move but at the moment it is still blamed on the oligarchs and Germany.