Espreso. Global

Poland and Slovakia respond to Ukraine's WTO claim on grain

19 September, 2023 Tuesday
10:26

Poland and Slovakia have announced that they will not lift restrictions on grain imports from Ukraine after the latter initiated an appeal to the World Trade Organization

This was reported by the European Pravda.

Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller said that Poland considers its actions justified.

"We will not allow the Polish agricultural market to be disrupted. We have not changed our mind on this issue and will take steps to protect the interests of Polish farmers," he added.

Slovak Agriculture Minister Jozef Bíreš said that Bratislava is ready to reconsider the ban if Kyiv's proposals prove effective in controlling exports.

"We will not change our position if there are no guarantees. We know how to present our reasons and concerns to the WTO. I don't know whether the Ukrainian side will take into account the testing we demand or will file a lawsuit," the minister said.

Some details regarding ban on Ukraine grain imports

On May 2, the European Commission adopted temporary safeguard measures against imports of certain agricultural products from Ukraine to 5 EU countries. Initially, the ban was introduced until June 5. However, 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.

In May, it was reported that the Bulgarian government promised to lift the ban on imports of agricultural products from Ukraine after the EU's measures to stabilize the agricultural market take effect.

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.

In response, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its disapproval of the plans by Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and Hungary to prolong the ban on Ukrainian grain imports until the end of 2023, deeming the actions of these five EU countries unacceptable.

On September 13, Bulgaria's parliamentary committee on economic policy and innovation passed a draft decision indicating that the country does not support the continuation of the ban on certain Ukrainian agricultural product imports beyond September 15.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has commented on the export of Ukrainian grain to the EU: Ukraine expects that after September 15, the European side will lift any restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products.

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.

On the same day, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal noted that the EU's decision would not only help Ukrainian exports and the economy in the face of the blockade of Black Sea ports, but would also contribute to global food security. He called on individual EU member states to refrain from unlawful unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products.

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.

Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said that he would ask the ministers of agriculture and economy to extend the ban on the import of our agricultural products for 30 days if Ukraine requests it.

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