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Polish PM: Poland to extend Ukrainian grain ban “regardless” of EU decision

Poland will unilaterally block the import of Ukrainian grain if the EU Commission does not extend the current ban, which expires later this week, said Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki on 12 September.
Poland's new prime minister and the Polish-Ukrainian dialogue
Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki
Polish PM: Poland to extend Ukrainian grain ban “regardless” of EU decision

In May, Brussels prohibited the export of Ukrainian grain through Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. 

“Poland will not allow Ukrainian grain to flood us. Regardless of the decision of Brussels officials, we will not open our borders,” the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, wrote on X/Twitter.

In his post, the official added the election campaign commercial of the ruling Law and Justice party. In the clip, Morawiecki stated that Poland has welcomed millions of refugees from Ukraine but must protect Polish farmers. 

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Polish government, Piotr Müller, announced that on 12 September, the government will issue an appeal to the European Commission to extend the ban. However, Poland will still allow the transit of Ukraine grain through its territory to be sold elsewhere in the EU.

The decision comes a month before a parliamentary election in Poland on 15 October 2023. Farmers are an important constituency for the ruling Law and Justice party. Ukrainian grain is cheaper than Polish, which impacts Polish farmers’ income.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka warned that Kyiv will file a complaint at the World Trade Organization if Poland introduces a unilateral ban on Ukrainian grain. 

In May, Brussels banned the import of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds at the request of 5 EU countries: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. In June, the EU Commission extended the ban until 15 September. Now, these countries seek an extension until the end of 2023 and insist on expanding the list of prohibited goods. 

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