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Poland calls on EU to curb influx of Ukrainian grain

30.03.2023 07:00
The Polish prime minister has said his government will limit the amount of Ukrainian grain entering Poland and has demanded that the European Union use “all regulatory instruments” to help achieve this purpose.
Photo:Fir0002, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Mateusz Morawiecki made the statement in Warsaw on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Premier  Mateusz Morawiecki Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki   PAP/Andrzej Lange

The prime minister told a news conference: “I instructed Deputy Prime Minister Henryk Kowalczyk to very quickly set out rules that will allow us to sell some of the grain that has accumulated in Poland, to sell it in North Africa and the Middle East, which was its original destination.”

He added: “I also instructed the deputy prime minister to introduce appropriate regulations that will allow us to limit the influx of Ukrainian grain to Poland.”

Morawiecki told reporters: “This grain is destabilising our market.”

PM urges EU to 'limit or block the import of Ukrainian grain into Poland'

He also urged the EU to take action, telling reporters: “We demand the use of all regulatory instruments - quotas, tariffs, which will limit or block the import of Ukrainian grain into Poland.”

Morawiecki also said he had agreed with the leaders of several countries bordering Ukraine to write to the head of the EU’s executive Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to demand action.

Ukraine, which is one of the world’s largest grain exporters, had its Black Sea ports blocked following the Russian invasion in February last year and it found alternative shipping routes through Poland and Romania, the Reuters news agency reported. 

Poland has admitted some 2.8 million tonnes of grain from Ukraine, according to public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency.

Due to logistics bottlenecks, large quantities of Ukrainian grain, which is cheaper than that produced in the EU, remain in central European countries, hurting prices and sales of local farmers, Reuters reported.

Poland to ask EU 'to employ protective clause'

Kowalczyk, who is also Poland’s agriculture minister, said on Wednesday night that Poland would ask Brussels "to employ a protective clause with regard to grain imports to Poland from Ukraine, in order to restore tariffs."

The current rules, which lift all import restrictions, “provide for such a clause that can be introduced in a situation where there is market disturbance,” Kowalczyk told reporters after talks with farmers’ representatives, adding that Poland would encourage Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria to take a similar move.

Compensation for farmers

So far, some PLN 1.1 billion (EUR 230 million) has been pledged to help compensate Polish farmers for their losses caused by the influx of Ukrainian grain, including a PLN 600 million (EUR 128 million) aid programme approved by the European Commission on Monday, Reuters reported.

Kowalczyk said on Wednesday that “the government is willing to ask the European Commission for further compensation of these losses,” adding that “they have to be calculated and documented,” the PAP news agency reported.

Thursday is day 400 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters