Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced during a press conference on Wednesday that Poland will maintain its ban on cereal product imports from Ukraine after September 15, when the EU ban is set to expire.
The European Commission (EC) had previously reached an agreement with Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia on restricting imports of Ukrainian agri-food products. On May 2, a temporary ban was imposed on wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds from Ukraine, which was later extended until September 15.
Prime Minister Morawiecki emphasized that the EC must develop regulations to extend this ban further or, alternatively, Poland will take the initiative to do so independently.
This declaration comes after an agreement was reached earlier on Wednesday by the agriculture ministers of five frontline EU member states – Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania – all of which share borders with Ukraine. They jointly decided to extend the ban on importing the four types of grain from Ukraine until the end of 2023.
However, it is important to note that Poland will continue to allow the transit of grain from Ukraine through its territory. Prime Minister Morawiecki justified this decision, stating that Poland benefits economically from this transit without risking destabilization of its internal market.
He expressed concern over the escalating consequences of the war in Ukraine, particularly on the Polish agricultural market, and stressed that any adverse impact on Polish agriculture must be addressed through measures such as blocking, modifying, or providing compensation.
In summary, Poland stands firm on its decision to uphold the ban on cereal product imports from Ukraine beyond September 15, with the aim of safeguarding its domestic agriculture amid the ongoing crisis.