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Poland asks EU to help resolve dispute over Ukrainian grain

Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 17:55
Poland asks EU to help resolve dispute over Ukrainian grain
Photo: Getty Images

The Polish government has asked the European Union’s executive arm to help resolve the dispute over Ukrainian grain shipments. Specifically, Poland wants the EU to introduce region-wide quotas on some Ukrainian products. 

Source: Bloomberg

Details: Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi and his Polish counterpart, Czesław Siekierski, met on Wednesday in an effort to find an agreement, but made little progress, Bloomberg reported.

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"The talks are tough and we’re not making any rapid headway. The voice of the European Commission and its president will be very important here," said Polish Deputy Agriculture Minister Michał Kołodziejczak.

Though the European Commission has proposed safeguard measures for Ukrainian imports, Kołodziejczak said Poland wants the EU to introduce region-wide quotas on some Ukrainian products.

Currently, grain cargoes can only be transported through Poland in transit, on their way to ports on the Baltic Sea or to other European countries.

However, Polish farmers are demanding that the government close the border to other food products, including sugar and fruit. They argue that much of the agricultural imports are of poor quality or are transported illegally.

Background: 

  • Polish farmers blocked the railway near the Shehyni-Medyka checkpoint and spilled some grain out of a freight train wagon on the morning of 20 February.
  • Also on 20 February, Polish farmers announced their plans to extend their protest for another month, until April.
  • On the evening of 20 February, Polish strikers eased traffic restrictions at the border. Cars, buses, and trucks were allowed to cross the border at some checkpoints.
  • On 21 February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with ministers and other government officials regarding the situation on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

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