Ukraine has decided to withdraw its complaint filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. The Deputy Economy Minister of Ukraine, Taras Kachka, announced this decision on Thursday, marking a significant development in the ongoing trade dispute.
The conflict arose when Poland, along with Hungary and Slovakia, unilaterally extended a ban on Ukrainian exports, including wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds. The ban was put in place due to concerns that a surplus of imports from Ukraine could adversely affect their own farming sectors.
Ukraine responded to these restrictions by filing a complaint with the WTO against the three countries. However, despite Ukraine’s objections, Poland persisted in extending the ban, ignoring the disagreement voiced by the European Commission (EC). The EC had earlier stated on September 15 that the European Union embargo on Ukrainian grain entering five member states, which included Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia, would not be prolonged. The reason cited was the disappearance of market distortions in these frontline countries.
Despite the EC’s decision, Poland continued with the ban, a move that intensified the trade tensions between the countries. Slovakia and Hungary also followed suit by imposing their own restrictions on Ukrainian grain imports.
However, in a surprising turn of events, Ukraine decided to suspend its WTO complaint against Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. The reasons behind this decision have not been explicitly stated, but it signifies a possible shift in the dynamics of the trade dispute.