Thu, 05 Oct 2023

The regulation blocking deliveries expires in September, but Poland hopes it ?won?t end?

Poland wants to extend EU restrictions on imports of Ukrainian grain, Agriculture Minister Robert Telus said in a radio interview on Tuesday.

According to the official, Warsaw is willing to help with the transit of Ukrainian produce through its territory, but not at the expense of its own farmers' interests.

"I see no substantive argument [for the ban to expire]. I'm hoping the embargo won't end, that we will be able to win its extension within our coalition of five EU nations," Telus was quoted as saying.

Poland is one of five EU member states that maintain restrictions on imports of Ukrainian wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower oil. The other four are Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. The curbs were introduced by Brussels in May to protect farmers from the influx of cheap Ukrainian grain, which flooded markets after the EU suspended customs duties following the launch of Russia's military operation last year. The embargo still allows the transit of Ukrainian grain through the five countries, and is due to expire on September 15.

However, there are now concerns that Ukrainian produce could once again flow into those countries' markets, following the termination of the Black Sea Initiative, a UN-brokered deal between Ukraine and Russia which allowed Ukrainian grain to be transported via the Black Sea.

READ MORE: Poland won?t open its market for Ukrainian grain ? PM

Telus's statement echoed another made last week by Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy, who said his country will demand an extension of the ban, calling it "the only way to protect the interests of European farmers."

Slovak Agriculture Minister Jozef Bires told a news conference on Monday that the five states are working on an official statement for the European Commission "to consider our specific situation" and extend the restrictions, as well as expand them to include other products.

"We support Ukraine in every way, but under the condition that food imports can't distort the internal market," Bires said.

Representatives of the five EU nations are scheduled meet in Warsaw on Wednesday to discuss the situation.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section


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