Espreso. Global

Ukraine and Poland agree to find a common solution for agricultural exports

21 September, 2023 Thursday
14:28

On Thursday, September 21, Ukraine's Minister of Agrarian Policy Mykola Solskyi had a telephone conversation with his Polish counterpart Robert Telus.

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This was reported by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.

It is noted that the ministers discussed the situation, as well as Ukraine's proposal for its settlement, and agreed to find a solution that takes into account the interests of both countries.

"The parties reaffirmed the close and constructive relations that they have repeatedly demonstrated and agreed, with this in mind, to develop a variant of cooperation on export issues in the near future," the statement reads.

The ministry also emphasized that the next talks will take place in the coming days. During them, it is planned to discuss the issues prepared by both parties. The Polish side will also study the Ukrainian export plan and prepare its proposals for it.

PAP previously reported that Poland had declared its readiness to hold talks with Ukraine, citing the words of Polish Agriculture Minister Robert Telus.

"We are waiting for such negotiations and are ready for such negotiations to take place," he said.

The minister also noted that Poland is open to negotiations to find a solution that will secure the Polish market, protect Polish farmers and help Ukraine.

"We want to help Ukraine with transit, but it should be transit and not harm Polish farmers," Telus said.

Some details regarding ban on Ukraine grain imports

On February 2, Polish farmers began blocking checkpoints on the border with Ukraine. They were outraged that the uncontrolled inflow of Ukrainian grain to Poland had caused prices for their products to plummet. Local farmers argue that Ukrainian grain should have been transported through Poland only to ports, but it ended up on the Polish market. 

On March 29, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki said that Poland promised to introduce rules that would limit the inflow of Ukrainian grain to the country, explaining that it could destabilize the import market.

On April 7, Ukraine agreed to stop exporting grain to Poland, and on April 15, the country approved a ban on the import of Ukrainian grain and other food products to Poland. Later, Poland approved a ban on the import of Ukrainian grain and other food products to Poland. The government emphasized that this decision does not change the country's position on support and friendship with Ukraine.

In Romania, farmers demanded a ban on grain imports and transit from Ukraine, threatening a nationwide protest. Meanwhile, Hungary was the second country to temporarily ban imports of grain and oilseeds from Ukraine, following Poland. On April 16, media reported that Bulgaria was also considering refusing to import Ukrainian grain. On the same day, a spokesman for the European Commission said that unilateral actions by EU member states on trade were unacceptable.

On April 17, Slovakia became the third EU country to ban imports of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products.

On April 18, it became known that Poland would receive EUR 30 million in aid from the EU amid the crisis with Ukrainian grain. After that, Warsaw decided to unblock the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products to European ports on April 21.

On April 29, the European Commission agreed with Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia on the transit of food produced in Ukraine through their territory.

On May 12, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary called on the European Commission to extend the embargo on agricultural products from Ukraine until the end of the year. Later that month, it was reported that four EU countries would insist on extending grain import restrictions from Ukraine until October. At the same time, Hungary wanted to extend the restrictions until 2024.  

On August 24, it was revealed that Hungary requested an extension of the EU's ban on Ukrainian grain imports.

Following this, Poland's Minister of Agriculture, Robert Telus, stated that Poland would also urge the European Union to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain imports. If the EU refuses, Poland would consider implementing its own restrictions. He noted that Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary had similar intentions.

On Friday, September 15, the European Commission decided not to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain exports to the EU: Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia announced that they would extend the embargo unilaterally.

Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative, said that negotiations on agriculture had turned into aggression on the part of Poland and hints of influence during Ukraine's accession to the EU.

On September 19, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine will file a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization and may retaliate by banning imports of goods from Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. The next day, Polish President Andrzej Duda criticized Ukraine's actions regarding the Polish embargo on Ukrainian grain and said that he and his government would defend the interests of Polish farmers.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also reacted to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's speech at the UN General Assembly and announced a possible extension of the ban on food exports if Kyiv continues to "escalate the conflict.


 
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