U.S. ‘pulling the plug’ on Ukraine aid is a ‘recipe for disaster’: Gen. Jack Keane
Fox News senior strategic analyst Gen. Jack Keane unpacks America’s ongoing support for Ukraine but sounds the alarm on potential consequences if aid stops.
NATO member Poland goes to the polls on Sunday in a parliamentary election that could have major consequences for Russia’s war against Ukraine depending on its outcome.
Poland has accepted millions of Ukrainian refugees following Russia’s invasion in February 2022, and many have welcomed refugees into their own homes. As the war in Ukraine approaches the two-year mark, domestic politics is poking holes in the tight alliance as Poland goes to the polls for bitterly divided parliamentary elections.
“Two years into the war, some of the support is fading, former Ambassador to Poland and Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council, Daniel Fried, told Fox News Digital.
Poland’s far-right Confederation Party could be kingmaker if neither of the bigger parties gets a majority. The anti-EU, and anti-immigration nationalist party wants to roll back Poland’s support for Ukraine’s war effort and limit migration. Although the party is only polling at around 10%, the tight and uncertain outcome of the election could see them featuring in a coalition government.
POLAND SAYS NO TO ANY ‘ARTIFICIAL PEACE PLAN’ BETWEEN UKRAINE, RUSSIA
Campaign poster of Mateusz Morawiecki in the city where he runs from the first place on the electoral list of Law and Justice on September 23, 2023, in Katowice, Poland. ((Photo by Klaudia Radecka/NurPhoto via Getty Images))
Polling so far shows a tight race, but most experts and observers of the region believe Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party will not receive an outright majority. A hung parliament could send shockwaves through one of Ukraine’s greatest champions in Europe.
“Poles are worried. There are concerns among some Poles about the amount of social support in education, housing and health. They’re worried about a prolonged stalemate on the battlefield and what that means for the war. They are worried about the expense. They’re worried about the staying power of the United States,” Ambassador Fried said.
“If you shoved me against the wall and said, ‘Make the call,’ I would say that Law and Justice has a slightly greater chance, And that’s only slightly at this point,” Ambassador Fried predicted.
POLAND BREAKS UP RUSSIAN SPY RING SUSPECTED OF PLANNING ATTACK ON MILITARY SUPPLY ROUTES TO UKRAINE
Poland has been one of the leading nations helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s invasion. Public opinion has decidedly been in favor of Ukraine’s war effort, with 65% of people saying Poland should continue to help Ukraine.
Slawomir Mentzen, co-leader of the Konfederacja (Confederation) alliance of right-wing and far-right political parties, tosses fake money to supporters while speaking in a style closer to that of a stand-up comedian at an election campaign rally on September 16, 2023, in Szczecin, Poland. The party is currently in third place in polls ahead of Polish parliamentary elections scheduled for October 15. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The fractious and polarized political environment is showing slight cracks in Poland’s otherwise steadfast support and unity for Ukraine. Grain imports from Ukraine emerged as a major political sticking point in election rhetoric, with Polish farmers feeling threatened by an influx of cheap grain from Ukraine after the E.U. opened its market to Ukrainian exports and lifted all tariffs.
In a not-so-subtle jab at Poland’s opposition to the E.U.’s decision, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the U.N. General Assembly that the “political theater” over grain exports only favored Moscow. Zelenskyy’s words were not well received in Poland. Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said that Ukraine is “behaving like a drowning person,” dragging Poland down with it.
Sunday’s election will see the ruling Law and Justice party led by former Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczynski face the centrist opposition Civic Coalition led by former Polish prime minister and European Council president Donald Tusk. The opposition is looking to finally dislodge Law and Justice’s rule and restore what it says is Poland’s democratic character, pointing to the government’s media and judicial efforts that they claim is eroding democracy.
BIDEN ANNOUNCES $325M AID PACKAGE TO UKRAINE AFTER MEETING WITH ZELENSKYY
Donald Tusk during a campaign meeting of the Civic Platform party ahead of parliamentary elections in Otwock, Poland, September 25, 2023. (Photo by Andrzej Iwanczuk/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Photo by Andrzej Iwanczuk/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The conservative Law and Justice party has been in power for nearly a decade and is looking for a third term. It draws its base of support from rural parts of the country, which highlights the delicate issue of grain imports to the incumbent government’s rural and agricultural constituency.
Law and Justice campaigned on protecting Poland from Russian aggression and has taken a hardline approach toward Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Civic Platform coalition, like Law and Justice, is also fervently pro-Ukraine and anti-Putin.
European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen, right, and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, center, watching Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on a screen at the main event of the “Stand Up for Ukraine” global campaign for pledging funds for Ukraine and its refugees, at the Palace on the Water, in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, April 9, 2022. ((AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski))
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Total security and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including the massive refugee burden shouldered by Poland, amounts to $19 billion, according to the Kiel Institute’s Ukraine Support Tracker. Warsaw is on the frontlines of the war as the leading transit hub for weapons to Ukraine and sent massive amounts of its military equipment and weapons to Ukraine. Since the war began, Poland has sent Ukraine 340 T72 and Leopard tanks, 14 MiG aircraft and 12 Mi-24 helicopters, along with large amounts of weapons and ammunition, according to Carnegie Europe.