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Ukraine extends an olive branch as Poland halts grain imports

"Ukraine's Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food expresses regret over Poland's suspension of grain imports, open to talks"

The decision by Poland to suspend imports of grain from Ukraine has been met with regret by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, which has stated that it is “open” to talks. In a statement, the Ukrainian ministry expressed disappointment with the decision by its Polish counterparts to temporarily restrict exports of agricultural goods from Ukraine to and through the territory of Poland, including transit. The ministry emphasized that it has always supported open, constructive, and mutually beneficial cooperation in accordance with the Association and Free Trade Agreements between Ukraine and the EU. However, the ministry acknowledged that Ukrainian agricultural producers are “responsive to the needs of their Polish counterparts, hope for mutual understanding, and expect a constructive dialogue” to make an agreed decision.

Poland has apparently taken the decision to suspend grain imports from Ukraine until the end of June, amid growing unease from the Polish farming community, who claim the flood of agri products from Ukraine into eastern Europe is driving local prices for produce. The Black Sea Grain Initiative deal was signed by Ukraine and Russia on July 22. The agreement, brokered by the UN and Turkey, allows for the safe navigation of exports of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers, including ammonia, from designated Ukrainian ports. Following the decision by Poland to reportedly suspend imports, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine has said that four crops – wheat, corn, sunflower seeds, and rapeseed will be transported through Poland only by transit until July 1, 2023. The ministry has also reached a number of agreements to develop mutually beneficial cooperation in agriculture and solve logistics problems and agreed on the text of the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Ukrainian ministry has emphasized that Ukrainian farmers are in the most difficult situation right now due to the war taking place on their territory. Ukrainian farmers are suffering enormous losses from Russia’s war against Ukraine, and Ukrainian farmers are dying on their fields because of Russian mines. However, the ministry acknowledged that at the same time, Ukrainian agricultural producers are “responsive to the needs of their Polish counterparts, hope for mutual understanding, and expect a constructive dialogue” to make an agreed decision.

The Ukrainian ministry has proposed to agree with the Polish side in the coming days on a new Memorandum of Understanding that will take into account the interests of Ukraine and Poland in the context of constructive, reliable, and effective cooperation for both countries and properly regulate the transit of agricultural products through Poland. The ministry has also expressed willingness to cooperate with the Polish side in conducting a thorough investigation of any possible abuses that may have occurred in this matter and led to the current situation, which is not in the interests of either Poland or Ukraine. The ministry has added that resolving various issues by “unilateral drastic actions will not accelerate a positive resolution” of the situation.

Ukraine has said that the crisis should prompt the two countries to cooperate even more closely in all sectors to address the root cause of these problems, which it said is Russian aggression. The Ukrainian ministry has emphasized that it is committed to finding a mutually beneficial solution to the current situation and hopes that Poland will also approach the issue constructively.

Categories: Agriculture