Espreso. Global

Ukraine's grain dispute with Poland escalates into EU accession issue, says Ministry of Economy

15 September, 2023 Friday

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

Kachka wrote about this on Facebook.

"Finally, Poland has told the truth about Ukrainian grain. It is not about this season but about the conditions of Ukraine's accession to the EU. This was very clearly stated by Minister of Agrarian Policy Telus," the deputy minister wrote.

Kachka emphasized that Ukraine's accession talks on agriculture began with aggressive military reconnaissance and complete antagonism from Poland.

"In fact, Poland is fighting for a liberum veto (the right of Polish Sejm deputies during the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to block its work - ed.) That is why we will stand by the fact that Poland's actions against Ukrainian grain are wrong, unlawful and harmful for Polish, Ukrainian and all EU farmers," Kachka added.


On September 13, Polish Minister of Agriculture Robert Telus called for an indefinite ban on imports of Ukrainian grain. He said that he expects the European Commission to extend the embargo at least until the end of the year, but this is not enough for Poland. In his opinion, the ban should continue until all aspects of agricultural cooperation between the EU and Ukraine are resolved, especially in light of Ukraine's desire to join the European Union.

"Under current conditions, Ukraine cannot join the European Union, as it will harm Polish agriculture," he said.

"What we are doing now is our strong position, what we did on April 15 is building the possibility of Ukraine joining the European Union. If we don't build these tools today, Poland will definitely not agree to let Ukraine join. And we have to set conditions for Ukraine. The way things are now, Polish agriculture will never win over Ukrainian agriculture,” Telus told Business Insider.

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 to be in place 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 had 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 as unacceptable.

On September 1, Ukraine's Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka told Politico that Ukraine will complain to the World Trade Organization if the grain embargo is extended beyond September 15.

On September 8, Polish Minister for EU Affairs Szymon Szynkowski said that Ukraine's complaints about the grain ban were pressure. At the same time, Poland is set to extend the embargo.

However, on September 12, the Polish Council of Ministers adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to extend the ban on Ukrainian grain imports after September 15. The document emphasizes that if this does not happen, Poland will introduce such a ban at the national level.

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 European Union: Ukraine expects that after September 15, the European side will cancel any restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products.

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