12 September 2023

Poland will not lift embargo on Ukrainian grain imports, says PM

12 September 2023

Poland’s prime minister has said his government will not lift its embargo on imports of Ukrainian grain because it would hurt Polish farmers.

Poland will not allow Ukraine grain to flood us,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Regardless of the decisions of the clerks in Brussels, we will not open up our borders,” Mr Morawiecki said in the midst of intensive campaigning for October 15 parliamentary elections.

Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, in agreement with the European Union, imposed an embargo on Ukrainian farm produce from April until September 15 to prevent a glut in their home markets that would hurt their farmers.

Only transit of sealed goods is allowed in an effort to help Ukraine send its produce overseas as Russia blocks its usual export routes.

EU agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said on Tuesday he is making efforts to have the embargo extended. He is Poland’s former agriculture minister.

Some leaders of Polish farm groups were due to attend an EU Parliament debate on the issue on Tuesday, including Michal Kolodziejczak, who is an opposition candidate in the October 15 elections.

Poland has been supporting neighbouring Ukraine with military and humanitarian assistance as it fights Russia’s invasion, but following farmer protests, Warsaw has been adamant in banning imports of Ukrainian agriculture products.

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