The Polish Agriculture Minister, Robert Telus, has disclosed that his Ukrainian counterpart has reached out to initiate discussions regarding the grain trade.
Poland recently opted to extend its embargo on the import of Ukrainian grain. This decision came in response to the European Commission’s announcement last week, confirming that the EU ban on grain imports would not be prolonged beyond its initial expiration date of September 15.
The move by Warsaw provoked a strong reaction from Kyiv, including a formal complaint lodged with the World Trade Organization. In retaliation, Warsaw issued a warning, suggesting it might expand the list of Ukrainian goods subject to sanctions.
In an attempt to defuse the escalating dispute, Ukraine’s Agriculture Minister, Mykola Solskiy, has reportedly made efforts to engage with his Polish counterpart, Robert Telus.
Telus stated, “I have conveyed our readiness to engage in discussions, but certain conditions must be met.” He continued, “I proposed that Ukraine withdraw its complaint from the World Trade Organization, as this is a prerequisite for us to commence talks, explore potential solutions, and safeguard Poland’s interests.”
Telus further emphasized, “I am awaiting the Ukrainian minister’s response and observing the actions taken by the Ukrainian side, which, at present, are not conducive to strengthening Polish-Ukrainian relations.”
Addressing the ongoing issue, Minister Telus suggested that Poland had put forward the idea of establishing a “solidarity corridor.” This corridor would allow Ukrainian grain to transit through Poland without entering the country.
Relations between Poland and Ukraine, which had grown significantly closer due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have recently become strained, primarily due to Poland’s heightened assertiveness in safeguarding its domestic farming sector.