VILNIUS – A delegation of Lithuanian MPs is going to Poland on Thursday to find out why shipments of support for Ukraine are stalling in Poland.
Laurynas Kasciunas, the chair of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, and Zygimantas Pavilionis, the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, also plan to discuss defense and other common issues with their Polish counterparts.
Haroldas Daublys, head of the Sauliu Leiciai project, the Lithuanian Riflemen's Union's support group for Ukraine, has said that the main problem is the shipment of dual-use goods, such as thermal imaging cameras or drones, through Poland.
“We have encountered situations where the Poles are very careful about the cargo ..., they check, coordinate, clarify, ask for clarifications from their colleagues. And all this can take anywhere from 5 hours to 20 hours just to be in Polish customs. In addition, there is also a queue at the border to get to them, so it can take anywhere from 6 hours to 24 hours," Daublys told the LRT Radio on Thursday.
According to Kasciunas, a Polish logistics company could be hired to speed up the transport of support, as they have more rights in the country than legal entities from any other EU country.
"This means extra cost for those transporting support, extra time, a lot of red tape hurdles. We understand that the process needs to be controlled, without any doubt, so that some kind of black market does not develop. But, on the other hand, everything can certainly be done more simply", he said.
Pavilionis, in his turn, also spoke about plans to discuss with Polish colleagues the further defense of Ukraine, Western support for the country, including the doubts of the United States and Hungary's objections to the European Union agreements.
Kasciunas stressed that Poland has a ‘key role’ as a regional leader, which together with the Baltic States would shape the agenda of the Western countries in supporting Ukraine until its victory over Russia.
According to him, Poland is also an important defense partner for Lithuania. The MP stressed the need for Poland to include the defense of the Suwałki Corridor and the Baltic States in its defense plans "as an integral part of its own defense".