Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, considers unacceptable the intentions of individual EU countries to extend the restrictions on the import of Ukrainian grain after 15 September.
Quote: "It is unacceptable, and the demand coming from certain countries to extend the application of EU restrictions beyond 15th of September also goes against their own interests...
We should not play into the hands of Putin, we should not play his game."
Details: The Foreign Minister stressed that Ukraine is now working closely with its neighbours to avoid a situation where "Putin will be sitting and laughing in [the] Kremlin and observing how, for example, Poland or another country insisting that Ukrainian grain should not enter their countries."
Kuleba stressed that Russia is destroying the grain infrastructure of Ukraine, in particular, because it wants to provoke additional tensions between Ukraine and its western neighbours.
- On 2 May, the European Commission introduced restrictions on exports of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seeds to five EU countries. On 5 June, restrictions were extended until 15 September.
- The emergence of these restrictions was the reaction of Brussels to the bans imposed on Ukrainian agricultural exports to protect their market by four EU countries: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria.
- Last week, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki threatened not to open the border with Ukraine for grain products after the relevant moratorium of the European Commission expires on 15 September.
- In response, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal called Poland's plans to block the export of Ukrainian grain an "unfriendly and populist" step.
- Earlier, five Central European EU members – Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia – planned to jointly request the European Union to extend the ban on importing Ukrainian grain after 15 September.