Poland Says Ukraine's Pressure on Grain Imports "Exceeds Certain Limits"

Friday, 8 September 2023

Polish Minister of EU Affairs Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk has called Ukraine's possible complaint to the World Trade Organization due to the situation with the grain import ban an element of pressure that will not be effective.

"This is a threat, another element of pressure from the Ukrainian side. These elements sometimes go beyond certain limits of classical diplomacy on the part of Ukraine. It uses diplomatic pressure tools, sometimes very non-standard, and goes beyond certain limits," RMF FM is citing Szynkowski vel Sęk.

 Szynkowski vel Sęk says that the Polish side is not impressed by this because its priority is the protection of Polish farmers and Polish citizens.

"We are not affected by such gestures or threats, it is simply an element of pressure, but pressure that will not be effective," Szynkowski vel Sęk said.

He also repeated what Prawo i Sprawiedliwość ["Law and Justice"] party’s politicians have been saying for several weeks: the embargo on Ukrainian goods will not be lifted after September 15.

"Sometimes we have to use, if there is not enough action at the EU level, elements of national action, but we are fighting for decisions to be made at the EU level.

We have strong arguments. They are presented by both the Minister of Agriculture and Commissioner Wojciechowski at the level of the European Commission to continue this decision [on maintaining the blockade of agricultural imports from Ukraine]".

The EU countries continue to search for a solution that would satisfy Ukraine's neighbouring countries and allow them to continue to help Ukraine export grain in the face of the Black Sea blockade.

On 15 September, the European Commission is expected to lift its moratorium on imports of Ukrainian corn, wheat, rapeseed and sunflower seeds to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. However, at least two countries, Poland and Hungary, intend to unilaterally extend the ban.

Ukraine insists that a unilateraextension of the ban would violate the rules of the common market and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

According to media reports, most EU countries are against the extension of the ban on agricultural imports from Ukraine.

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