Poland's agriculture minister said Wednesday that he was stepping down following protests by farmers over Ukrainian grain exports which they say are driving down market prices.

Warsaw says it has requested help from the European Union to counter the impact of Ukraine grain flowing into the bloc, as Russian forces restrict exports leaving Black Sea ports during its invasion of the country.

But the minister, Henryk Kowalczyk, said the EU's recent proposal to extend the duty-free import of Ukrainian grains had prompted his decision to resign.

"It shows very clearly that this basic demand of the farmers will not be met by the Commission," Kowalczyk told journalists, while declining to take any questions.

His resignation comes the day Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is visiting Poland, where he will meet Polish officials and speak to crowds in Warsaw's historic center.


According to Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the imports of grain and other agricultural products from Ukraine will be discussed during the talks.

Poland is one of Ukraine's staunchest allies during its war against Russia, but it has seen a wave of protests by farmers who say the influx of Ukraine grain is threatening their livelihoods.

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