Poland's new foreign minister on Friday urged the West to rally around Ukraine, choosing the war-torn country for his first visit abroad in a sign of support as other allies waver on aid.

Ukraine in turn expressed hope for a quick resolution to a blockade from Polish truckers and said the visit marked a "new page" in the two countries' relations that became strained under the previous administration.

Air alarms sounded during the meeting, warning of a potential new raid from Russia, which has intensified air attacks in the past weeks.

"If the West mobilises, I have no doubt who will win, but it must finally start mobilising," Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in a press conference wrapping up his trip. 

He said Western economies were "twenty times wealthier than Russia" but that Moscow "has switched its economy to a war mode."


"We cannot allow Russia to produce more on the basis of a much smaller economy. Because wars are not won by tactical battles, wars are won by production," he said. 

His visit comes as fatigue builds among Kyiv's allies nearly two years into the war despite Ukrainian officials' efforts. 

In the US, Senate leaders said Tuesday that Washington would not be able to approve new aid for Ukraine before the year's end.

Hungary blocked a 50-billion-euro European Union aid package for Ukraine, though Ukraine did win a symbolic victory when the bloc opened formal membership negotiations with Ukraine -- but any actual accession is years away.

- 'Unblock the border' -

Sikorski's visit aimed to reassure Kyiv and to resolve a month-long blockade at the Ukraine border by Polish hauliers was top of the agenda.

When the war began in February 2022, the EU waived restrictions for Ukrainian road carriers to enter the bloc to ease the cargo traffic in and out the war-torn country.

But Polish truckers say the move undercut their earnings and have been blocking the border with Ukraine -- which heavily relies on the route for its exports and imports.


Earlier the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed the issue.

"The first thing to do is to unblock the border, because the situation in which our friendly relations find themselves -- in the shadow of the blocked border -- is unacceptable and harmful," Kuleba told his Polish counterpart. 

"We hope that this problem will be solved by Christmas, before the end of this year," Polish deputy infrastructure minister Pawel Gancarz said at a briefing later on, speaking alongside Sikorski in Kyiv.

The blockade has been a thorn in the relations between Warsaw and Kyiv.

Poland had been one of Ukraine's staunchest allies since Russia invaded in February 2022. 

But ahead of Polish elections in October, the then-governing Law and Justice party lobbied for votes by leveraging fatigue over the conflict.

Poland became embroiled in a row with Ukraine over grain imports, and the outgoing government said it would restrict arms deliveries to Kyiv.

- 'New page' -

But the administration led by former European Council president Donald Tusk that took office this month has pledged to double down on support for Ukraine.

A promise reinforced by his foreign minister's visit to Kyiv, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised.


"We hope for the opening of a new page in our relations. We are very strong neighbours with a shared history," Zelensky said after meeting Sikorski.

Air raid alerts sounded earlier during the top diplomat's visit.

"These air sirens that we hear now is the reason why I am here," Sikorski said.

"It's completely unacceptable for a country to attack its neighbour and bomb cities, destroy entire provinces, deport children... In this titanic fight, minister, Poland is on your side," he said. 

Sirens are frequently heard all across Ukraine, which is the target of daily aerial attacks from Russia.

In the latest barrage, Ukrainian armed forces said they downed 24 out of 28 Iranian-made drones, including on the capital Kyiv.

Russian missiles and drones frequently target the Ukrainian capital and are usually shot down by air defence systems, bolstered by Western weapons.

But on Thursday night "a residential building in Kyiv (was hit) by a Shahed," Zelensky's chief of staff Andriy Yermak wrote on Telegram.

Two residents were wounded in the drone attack, according to local authorities. 

Ukrainian officials said Friday that police had arrested a senior defence official suspected of embezzling 36 million euros during the purchase of much-needed artillery shells.

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