(Bloomberg) -- Poland will likely cut financial support to the million Ukrainian refugees it is hosting, the government said, in a move that may further undermine ties with its neighbor that have been strained in a clash over grain imports.
While the government in Warsaw has been one of Ukraine’s most ardent supporters to help it defend itself against Russia’s invasion, offering financial and military aid and serving as a gateway for western supplies, ties between the two nations are deteriorating in the run-up to Poland’s October election.
The support for refugees — which includes waiving residency requirements and the granting of work permits, free access to schools, medical treatment and family benefits — will not be extended next year, government spokesman Piotr Muller told Polsat television.
“These regulations will simply expire next year,” Muller said on Monday. “I think the regulations will not be extended to a large extent.”
Poland spent about 2.4 billion zloty ($550 million) in child support for Ukrainian families who have fled to Poland to avoid the war through May, according to Anna Schmidt, the deputy family and social policy minister.
That will probably add to tensions after Poland’s ruling Law & Justice party extended a ban on grain imports from Ukraine, defying a European Union decision to end the embargo, as it seeks to secure support among Polish farmers before the Oct. 15 vote.
Ukraine, which has been forced to export grain by land due to Russia’s blockade of shipments via the Black Sea, has responded by challenging the ban at the World Trade Organization.
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