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Average Poles favor cutting financial support for resident Ukrainian refugees, poll finds

"Poles do help Ukrainians, but [people are] increasingly more often advocating for helping in a way that does not harm themselves," political scientist Kazimierz Kik said

MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. A majority of Polish citizens believe that the country should stop financially subsidizing Ukrainians residing in Poland, according to a survey conducted by the Pollster research center that was commissioned by the Super Express media outlet.

Replying to a question on whether Poland should continue giving financial aid to Ukrainian nationals, for instance, by providing them with 500 zloty (about $110) per child per month, 36% of respondents said "definitely not," while 24% responded "probably not." Only 8% unequivocally support providing financial aid, another 18% of those polled support it but with reservations, and 14% were unable to answer the question.

"Poles do help Ukrainians, but [people are] increasingly more often advocating for helping in a way that does not harm themselves. We really sympathize with the Ukrainians, but it turns out that we cannot ignore our own interests," political scientist Kazimierz Kik said in commenting on the survey findings. According to him, the latest remarks by Ukrainian politicians aimed at Poland amid the conflict over grain imports were what prompted average Poles’ souring attitude toward aiding Ukrainians. "Additionally, here, across all of Europe, resentment toward arriving immigrants is growing," he added.

The poll was conducted on September 21-22 among 1,015 respondents.

Recently, the mutual rhetoric between Warsaw and Kiev has gotten heated, even to the point of turning into threats. The issue of supplies of Ukrainian agricultural products to the EU has become a stumbling block. Poland, along with a number of other Eastern European countries, has taken measures to prevent domestic market prices from collapsing due to a glut of Ukrainian grain. However, the issue of agricultural exports is quite critical for Kiev, as discussions continue around its budget as Ukraine faces a record deficit.

The European Commission's attempts to resolve the situation have not succeeded thus far. Kiev filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO), while Warsaw reiterated that the transit of weapons and humanitarian aid to Ukraine is carried out through Polish territory. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned that he was ready to expand the list of banned Ukrainian goods if the Kiev authorities continued to inflame the situation.