Over the next week, Ukraine and Poland will develop new simplified rules for the transit of Ukrainian agricultural crops through Polish territory to other EU member states and third countries.
Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Mykola Solskyi stated this at a meeting with the newly appointed Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland Robert Telus, Ukrinform reports citing Ukrainian ministry.
"The situation is difficult for Ukrainian farmers, but also for the Polish ones. We all understand who is to blame (Russia), but it is up to us to resolve this issue. The possibility of transit through Poland to other EU member states and third countries is preserved. The transit procedure will be simplified to eliminate vehicle downtime and queues at checkpoints," Solskyi said.
He noted that Ukraine will refrain from exporting four crops to Poland (wheat, corn, sunflower, and rapeseed) until the new season.
Ukrainian Agrarian Ministry recommends that exporters consider redirecting the relevant cargo through other countries while new rules are being developed.
Solskyi and Telus agreed at a meeting on April 7, 2023, that Ukraine would suspend exports of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower to Poland until the new season.
The meeting took place against the backdrop of massive protests of Polish farmers over the past few months. They opposed the transportation of Ukrainian agricultural products through Poland to third countries. They emphasized that a significant portion of Ukrainian grain is not transported in transit further but settles in Poland. Thus, it reduces grain purchase prices of Polish farmers.
Under pressure from farmers, the Polish government appealed to the European Commission (EC) to abolish the zero duty on Ukrainian agricultural products. However, EC did not fulfill the main demand of Polish farmers. The Commission extended the agreement on duty-free imports from Ukraine for another year, until June 5, 2024.
On Wednesday, April 5, amid the crisis with Ukrainian grain, Poland's previous Minister of Agriculture Henryk Kowalczyk resigned. On Thursday, he was replaced by Robert Telus. On the same day, he convened an interagency crisis team to address the problem of Ukrainian grain influx into the Polish market.
During his official visit to Poland on April 5, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky discussed this issue with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Afterward, at a media briefing, he said that this problem would be resolved soon.
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